- An evergreen shrub, of the genus Laurus (L. nobilis), having aromatic leaves of a lanceolate shape, with clusters of small, yellowish white flowers in their axils; -- called also sweet bay. The fruit is a purple berry. It is found about the Mediterranean, and was early used by the ancient Greeks to crown the victor in the games of Apollo. At a later period, academic honors were indicated by a crown of laurel, with the fruit. The leaves and tree yield an aromatic oil, used to flavor the bay water of commerce.
Etymology: Old English lorel, laurer, lorer, Old French lorier, laurier, French laurier, (assumed) Late Latin Laurarius, from Latin laurus
- Note: The name is extended to other plants which in some respect resemble the true laurel.
- A crown of laurel; hence, honor; distinction; fame; -- especially in the plural; as, to win laurels.
- An English gold coin made in 1619, and so called because the king's head on it was crowned with laurel
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Full Definition of laurel