a. Any of various aromatic plants of the genus Lavandula of the mint family, native chiefly to the Mediterranean region, especially L. angustifolia, having clusters of small purplish flowers. Lavender is widely cultivated as an ornamental and for its essential oil, used in perfumery and cosmetics.
b. The fragrant dried leaves, stems, and flowers of this plant.
2. A pale to light purple to very light or very pale violet.
[Middle English lavendre, from Anglo-Norman, from Medieval Latin livendula, lavendula, perhaps from Latin līvidus, bluish; see LIVID.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.