Definition of lavender in English:



mass noun
  • 1A small aromatic evergreen shrub of the mint family, with narrow leaves and bluish-purple flowers, used in perfumery and medicine.

    Genus Lavandula, family Labiatae

    • ‘Climbing roses, jasmine and honeysuckle were trained up the walls and rosemary and lavender borders lined the flower beds.’
    • ‘But the vital feature of a garden is to have things you can touch and smell: rosemary, lavender and lemon-scented geraniums.’
    • ‘Shrub roses underplanted with catmint or lavender will seldom suffer from greenfly infestations.’
    • ‘Basil, marjoram and thyme grow well in small containers; bay, lavender and rosemary need larger ones.’
    • ‘Prune grey-leaved shrubs such as artemisia, lavender, sage and senecio to new shoots within 10 cm of the base.’
    • ‘The sensory garden would include scented flowers, such as lavender and honeysuckle, and a water feature.’
    • ‘Plants were selected for their scent - rosemary, lavender, and sage, for instance.’
    • ‘Compact herbs such as chives, dwarf basil, lavender, and oregano fit nicely into the openings of concrete blocks.’
    • ‘We've got hawthorn, gingko, elder, mullein, lavender, sage, thyme, echinacea, borage, yarrow and plenty of pine trees.’
    • ‘A heady, often impenetrable mix of shrubs, herbs and wild flowers, such as lavender, myrtle, marjoram and thyme, its elusive scent permeates everything from the wine to the honey.’
    • ‘The Shakespeare Garden is planted with herbs referred to by Shakespeare in his plays, including mint, camomile, marjoram and lavender.’
    • ‘Thyme, rosemary, marjoram and lavender will act as a magnet for bees and butterflies.’
    • ‘He used Mediterranean and dry-climate plants such as lavender, salvia, santolina, and other plants that conserve moisture.’
    • ‘You also can plant lavender, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage.’
    • ‘Stepping off the ferry, I am overwhelmed by the perfumes of rosemary, sage and lavender.’
    • ‘And be sure to include herbs: fennel, oregano, lavender, bee balm, and sage.’
    • ‘On the way the aroma of fields of lavender, rosemary and pine fill the car, and everywhere the stately march of the thousands of cropped vines in the fields.’
    • ‘There are also some permanent plants in the beds - mostly aromatics like lavender and salvia.’
    • ‘They can be trimmed almost like a topiary, if you want to use miniature box, lavender or germander.’
    • ‘We just stood there in the semidarkness of the back garden, with the smells of early blooming lavender, chamomile and mint filled the unusually warm air for late January.’
    1. 1.1 A scented oil distilled from lavender flowers.
      ‘lavender, like most essential oils, is kind to sore or infected skin’
      as modifier ‘a cake of lavender soap’
      • ‘Continual aching muscles can also be eased by mixing six drops each of eucalyptus and lavender oil together and then massaging the oil blend into the painful area.’
      • ‘Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, rosemary, geranium or sweet orange added to the foot bath will invigorate and help to soften skin.’
      • ‘Essential oils should almost never be used neat on skin - exceptions are lavender oil and tea tree oil in small amounts.’
      • ‘Six drops each of eucalyptus oil and lavender oil mixed together and massaged into the painful area will also help.’
      • ‘Blend ten drops each of rose and chamomile oil, and five drops each of lemon and lavender oil with 30 ml of almond oil.’
      • ‘And to relieve insomnia, try putting a drop of basil, chamomile, clary sage or lavender onto your pillow at night.’
      • ‘Or unwind after a hectic day by adding 3 drops each of lavender oil and rosewood oil to your evening bath.’
      • ‘After drying between toes wash the towel in hot water and soap, with a few drops of lavender oil added.’
      • ‘In summer days, if you attend outdoor parties, make sure to carry a small bottle of tea tree oil or lavender oil for insect bites.’
      • ‘I remember a mixture of cedar, rosemary, lavender and thyme in an oil base, but no quantities.’
      • ‘Often I put lavender oil in my bath, because I love the fragrance; aromatherapists tell me it is supposed to be calming.’
      • ‘Insects are all repelled by potent essential oils, such as lavender oil.’
      • ‘For skin soothing benefits, try Roman or German chamomile, lavender, patchouli or sandalwood.’
      • ‘His rose oils come from the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria, the vanilla comes from Madagascar, the lavender from Provence.’
      • ‘He mentioned that it took about a ton of lavender flowers to make a liter of lavender oil.’
      • ‘A few drops of peppermint or lavender oil added to a handkerchief or tissue and inhaled will also ease the nausea associated with travel sickness.’
      • ‘The hand-painted, hand-dyed silk-velvet pillow is filled with chamomile, lavender, rosemary and flaxseed.’
      • ‘To make your body oil dissolve nine drops of either lavender or rosemary essential oil in 20 millilitres of almond oil.’
      • ‘A few drops of lavender oil in a bowl of warm water, placed on a table away from windows, will also provide protection against bacteria.’
      • ‘Pennyroyal oil or lavender oil brushed onto woodwork surrounding doorways and kitchen benches will also help to keep flies away.’
    2. 1.2 Used in names of plants similar to lavender, e.g. cotton lavender, sea lavender.
      • ‘In another I'm going to plant Rocky Road French lavender.’
      • ‘Soft gray leaves give it its name, cotton lavender, also known as gray santolina.’
      • ‘Notice below what a striking complement the Yellow Lavender, with its chartreuse foliage and its creamy beige flower petals, is to the French Lavender.’
      • ‘The little purple dots on top of the white sepals in the green circle above are about all that will remain of the Sea Lavender flowers when dried.’
    3. 1.3informal Used in reference to effeminacy or homosexuality.
      ‘Rick is so hard-boiled that any touch of lavender is wiped away’
      • ‘In fact, he loathed the lavenders so much, he said he'd cross the street if he saw a homo approaching’
      • ‘Like all their jewelry products it is in the finest aluminum and, as always, tinted lavender, the official lesbian color!’
    4. 1.4dated Used in reference to refinement or gentility.
      as modifier ‘she had a certain lavender charm’
      • ‘A faint air of lavendered family drama, hangs over proceedings, but the unusual context provides its own stimulus.’
      • ‘In France they were known as chestnut gatherers; Brits called them lavender aunts.’
  • 2A pale blue colour with a trace of mauve.

    ‘romantic designs in old-fashioned tones of primrose, lavender, and rose’
    as modifier ‘she wore a lavender silk dress’
    • ‘The flowers fade to a shade of lavender, so it looks like lots of different flowers on one plant.’
    • ‘For example, in spring, the guests wear sky blue, grass green, pale rose, lavender, and buttercup yellow.’
    • ‘The walls were painted a calm lavender, with my mom's most recent doodlings of clouds.’
    • ‘Mama told me to wear my lavender morning dress and to plait my hair with the matching ribbons I had.’
    • ‘Then suddenly they erupt with snapdragon-like flowers that range in color from white to pink, lavender and purple.’
    • ‘The yellow and the lavender intermingled, one color coming in and out of the other.’
    • ‘The walls were a light lavender, the floor and ceiling were white.’
    • ‘A bit of pale, lavender blue thread looped around the needle's eye.’
    • ‘He then found a tight-fitting lavender halter-top that matched almost perfectly.’
    • ‘Allison picked out a nice lavender and white flower printed summer dress with loose straps and a cut along the side only going up as far as the knee.’
    • ‘She wore a lavender linen robe with a wide violet sash wrapped around her midsection.’
    • ‘Structures have been strengthened, archways rebuilt, mosaic floors retiled and chapels repainted - lavender blue, daffodil yellow, sunset red.’
    • ‘Its gracefully arching branches are loaded with clusters of cool pink flowers hinting of lavender.’
    • ‘Walls, blinds and tablecloths were in misty shades of lavender blue and mauve.’
    • ‘Some are white, many in hues of lavender and lilac, pale mauves and deep purples, and a host of other colors.’
    • ‘She wears a dress of lavender and purples that blended so well together it stunned me.’
    • ‘Most flowers are lavender, purple, or fluorescent pink.’
    • ‘The 20-30 light lavender, bell-shaped flowers are fertile and funnel shaped.’
    • ‘Her's were a soft lavender, the only time I'd ever see that color.’
    • ‘She wore icy lavender eyeshadow that was pale compared to her lightly tanned skin and dark purple lipstick outlined her lips.’


[with object]
  • Perfume with lavender.

    ‘lavendered sheets’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French lavendre, based on medieval Latin lavandula.