- [Bot] An evergreen shrub, of the genus Laurus Laurus nobilis), having aromatic leaves of a lanceolate shape, with clusters of small, yellowish white flowers in their axils; -- called also sweet bay.
- 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.
Note: 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.
Note: ☞ The name is extended to other plants which in some respect resemble the true laurel. See Phrases, below.
Etymology: OE. lorel laurer lorer, OF. lorier laurier, F. laurier, (assumed) LL. Laurarius, fr. L. laurus