Laurel

Lau"rel

(?), n. [OE. lorel, laurer, lorer, OF. lorier, laurier, F. laurier, (assumed) LL. Laurarius, fr. L. laurus.] 1. (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. 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.
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The name is extended to other plants which in some respect resemble the true laurel. See Phrases, below.
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2. A crown of laurel; hence, honor; distinction; fame; -- especially in the plural; as, to win laurels.
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3. 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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Laurel water, water distilled from the fresh leaves of the cherry laurel, and containing prussic acid and other products carried over in the process.
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American laurel, or Mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia; called also calico bush. See under Mountain. -- California laurel, Umbellularia Californica. -- Cherry laurel (in England called laurel). See under Cherry. -- Great laurel, the rosebay (Rhododendron maximum). -- Ground laurel, trailing arbutus. -- New Zealand laurel, the Laurelia Nov Zelandi. -- Portugal laurel, the Prunus Lusitanica. -- Rose laurel, the oleander. See Oleander. -- Sheep laurel, a poisonous shrub, Kalmia angustifolia, smaller than the mountain laurel, and with smaller and redder flowers. -- Spurge laurel, Daphne Laureola. -- West Indian laurel, Prunus occidentalis.
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Sun 09th December 2018