[ saf-ruhn ]
See synonyms for saffron on
  1. Also called vegetable gold . a crocus, Crocus sativus, having showy purple flowers.

  2. an orange-colored condiment consisting of its dried stigmas, used to color and flavor foods.

  1. Also saffron yellow . a yellowish-orange color.

Origin of saffron

1150–1200; Middle English saffran, saffronOld French safran<Medieval Latin saffrānum<Arabic zaʿfarān Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use saffron in a sentence

  • In a word, the whole presented to the astonished view a rich scene of vegetable gold.

    Imogen | William Godwin

British Dictionary definitions for saffron


/ (ˈsæfrən) /

  1. an Old World crocus, Crocus sativus, having purple or white flowers with orange stigmas

  2. the dried stigmas of this plant, used to flavour or colour food

  1. meadow saffron another name for autumn crocus

  2. false saffron another name for safflower

    • an orange to orange-yellow colour

    • (as adjective): a saffron dress

Origin of 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