1. [syn: California laurel, California bay tree, Oregon myrtle, pepperwood, spice tree, sassafras laurel, California olive, mountain laurel, Umbellularia californica]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
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.
2. A crown of laurel; hence, honor; distinction; fame; --
especially in the plural; as, to win laurels.
3. An English gold coin made in 1619, and so called because
the king's head on it was crowned with laurel.
Laurel water, water distilled from the fresh leaves of the
cherry laurel, and containing prussic acid and other
products carried over in the process.
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
Great laurel, the rosebay (Rhododendron maximum).
Ground laurel, trailing arbutus.
New Zealand laurel, the Laurelia Nov[ae] Zelandi[ae].
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
Spurge laurel, Daphne Laureola.
West Indian laurel, Prunus occidentalis.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: Pacific coast tree having aromatic foliage and small
umbellate flowers followed by olivelike fruit; yields a
hard tough wood [syn: California laurel, California bay
tree, Oregon myrtle, pepperwood, spice tree,
sassafras laurel, California olive, mountain laurel,