[ saf-ruh n ]
/ ˈsæf rən /


Also called vegetable gold. a crocus, Crocus sativus, having showy purple flowers.
an orange-colored condiment consisting of its dried stigmas, used to color and flavor foods.
Also saffron yellow. a yellowish-orange color.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of saffron

1150–1200; Middle English saffran, saffron Old French safran < Medieval Latin saffrānum < Arabic zaʿfarān Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for saffron

British Dictionary definitions for saffron

/ (ˈsæfrən) /


an Old World crocus, Crocus sativus, having purple or white flowers with orange stigmas
the dried stigmas of this plant, used to flavour or colour food
meadow saffron another name for autumn crocus
false saffron another name for safflower
  1. an orange to orange-yellow colour
  2. (as adjective)a saffron dress

Word Origin for saffron

C13: from Old French safran, from Medieval Latin safranum, from Arabic za'farān
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