- any of a large genus (Crocus) of spring-blooming plants of the iris family, with fleshy corms and a yellow, purple, or white flower
- an orange-yellow color; saffron
- powdered iron oxide used for polishing
Origin: ME < L < Gr krokos, saffron, via Sem (as in Heb karkōm, Ar kurkum, Aram kūrkāmā, saffron, crocus), ult. < Sans kuṅkumam
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noun pl. cro·cus·es or cro·ci
- a. Any of various perennial Eurasian herbs of the genus Crocus, having grasslike leaves and showy, variously colored flowers.b. Any of several other plants, such as the autumn crocus.
- A grayish to light reddish purple.
- A dark red powdered variety of iron oxide, Fe2O3, used as an abrasive for polishing.
- A coarse, loosely woven material like burlap, once used to make sacks for shipping saffron. See Regional Note at gunnysack.
Origin: Middle English, saffron, from Old French, from Latin, from Greek krokos; perhaps from a source akin to Arabic kurkum, saffron.