1. an Asian shrub or small tree, Lawsonia inermis, of the loosestrife family, having elliptic leaves and fragrant flowers.
  2. a reddish-orange dye or cosmetic made from the leaves of this plant.
  3. a color midway between red-brown and orange-brown.

verb (used with object), hen·naed, hen·na·ing.

  1. to tint or dye with henna.


  1. a lythraceous shrub or tree, Lawsonia inermis, of Asia and N Africa, with white or reddish fragrant flowers
  2. a reddish dye obtained from the powdered leaves of this plant, used as a cosmetic and industrial dye
  3. a reddish-brown or brown colour


  1. (tr) to dye with henna

c.1600, “dye or cosmetic from the henna plant,” from Arabic hinna, name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet, Lawsonia inermis), the leaves of which are used to make the reddish dye; said to be of Persian origin. Related: Hennaed (1860).

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