Definition of hazel in US English:



  • 1A temperate shrub or small tree with broad leaves, bearing prominent male catkins in spring and round hard-shelled edible nuts in autumn.

    Genus Corylus, family Betulaceae: several species, in particular the common Eurasian hazel (C. avellana), formerly widely managed as coppice

    • ‘He could clearly distinguish elders, hazels and sloes.’
    • ‘The vast forested areas grew colossal numbers of trees such as hazel, oak, ash, beech, and many others.’
    • ‘Oak, ash, hazel, cherry and holly will do well on dry sites.’
    • ‘The native trees planted include oak, ash, birch, alder, hazel, yew, and Scots pine.’
    • ‘Cultivation of hazels probably began in classical times in Europe.’
    • ‘Oak, hazel, willow, and lime were among the most useful trees to be cultivated.’
    • ‘The course is aimed at beginners, and will help them spot the difference between the hazel and the hawthorn, and the beech from a birch.’
    • ‘The oak tree across the road is practically bare but the beeches and hazels behind it are still fully leafed.’
    • ‘A small section of the woodland consists of hazel coppice.’
    • ‘Half of the field will be planted with native ash, along with cherry, rowan and hazel trees.’
    • ‘The birds were singing and the hazel catkins were open.’
    • ‘The marsh gave way gradually to dry land, and the reeds and willows to hazels and elders.’
    • ‘The scrub provides a good habitat for song birds including a small area of hazel coppice.’
    • ‘Both of the island chains were once covered in dense woodlands of birch, alder, willow, hazel, rowan and aspen.’
  • 2A reddish-brown or greenish-brown color, especially of a person's eyes.

    as modifier ‘the laughing hazel eyes were serious now’
    • ‘She motioned towards a cute hazel eyed guy with dark hair.’
    • ‘His eyes were a soft hazel, with heavy lids and dark circles beneath.’
    • ‘Her eyes, hazel in colour, were very piercing.’
    • ‘A man with auburn hair and hazel eyes stalked purposefully into the room.’
    • ‘She always found it strange he has blue eyes and all the other men in his family have greenish hazel eyes.’
    • ‘Dr. Michaels peered through her thin-rimmed glasses and studied her with serious hazel eyes.’
    • ‘I had large eyes that most people described as cute; they were a murky hazel.’
    • ‘She had long luscious brown hair and hazel colored eyes.’
    • ‘He was the taller of them, with sharp blue eyes and hazel coloured hair.’
    • ‘He was naturally tanned, had really dark brown hair and deep hazel eyes.’
    • ‘The young boy's eyes were a golden hazel, like his father's.’
    • ‘Her hair had hazel highlights.’
    • ‘She was short with long wavy brown hair and hazel eyes.’
    • ‘She couldn't quite put her finger on the colour; not quite hazel, not quite green.’
    • ‘His eyes were a deep kind of hazel brown, which made him look really handsome.’
    • ‘After a year in a hospital, her eyes were still a green hazel, but they were dull, no longer bright.’
    • ‘He has hazel coloured eyes that actually light up every time he smiles or laughs.’
    • ‘There is a distinct look of fear about his round hazel eyes.’
    • ‘I was slightly uncomfortable under her intense gaze and I tried to ignore the way her hazel eyes bore into me.’
    • ‘The boy looked to be about my age with mousy hair and hazel eyes.’
    hazel, chocolate-coloured, coffee-coloured, cocoa-coloured, nut-brown
    View synonyms


Old English hæsel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hazelaar ‘hazel tree’, hazelnoot ‘hazelnut’, and German Hasel, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin corylus.