Definition of alkanet in English:



  • A Eurasian plant of the borage family, typically having a hairy stem and blue flowers.

    • ‘She might have finished the look with saffron eye shadow and lip balm tinted with ocher and alkanet root.’
    • ‘One of the plants we saw here was green alkanet, Pentaglottis sempervirens’
    • ‘A fine color is obtained by previously washing the alkanet with water and then thoroughly drying it before suspending it in the fat or oil.’
    • ‘Old English names are (dyer's) alkanet and orcanet.’
    • ‘Well-known dye-plants are included, among them dyer's alkanet, elderberry, henna, indigo, madder and saffron, and each plant is illustrated in colour.’


Middle English: from colloquial Arabic al-ḥannat (classical Arabic al-ḥinnā') the henna shrub.