[rohz-waw-ter, -wot-er]
  1. having the aroma or fragrance of rose water.
  2. affectedly delicate, nice, or fine; sentimental: a Victorian novelist with a genteel, rose-water style.

Origin of rose-water

First recorded in 1655–65

rose water

  1. water tinctured with the essential oil of roses, used as a perfume.

Origin of rose water

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rose-water

Contemporary Examples of rose-water

  • This version is made with rose-water syrup, lending a particularly inviting sweet aroma to the pistachio-filled treats.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What to Eat: Light Greek Meal

    June 1, 2010

Historical Examples of rose-water

British Dictionary definitions for rose-water


    1. scented water used as a perfume and in cooking, made by the distillation of rose petals or by impregnation with oil of roses
    2. (as modifier)rose-water scent
  1. (modifier) elegant or delicate, esp excessively so
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rose-water

late 14c., water tinctured with oil of roses, from rose (n.1) + water (n.1). Symbolic of affected delicacy or sentimentalism. Cf. Middle Dutch rosenwater, Dutch rozenwater, German Rosenwasser.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper