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Lav"en*der (?), n. [OE. lavendre, F. lavande, It. lavanda lavender, a washing, fr. L. lavare to wash; cf. It. lsavendola, LL. lavendula. So called because it was used in bathing and washing. See Lave. to wash, and cf. Lavender.] 1. (Bot.) An aromatic plant of the genus Lavandula (Lavandula vera), common in the south of Europe. It yields and oil used in medicine and perfumery. The Spike lavender (Lavandula Spica) yields a coarser oil (oil of spike), used in the arts.
2. The pale, purplish color of lavender flowers, paler and more delicate than lilac.
Lavender cotton (Bot.), a low, twiggy, aromatic shrub (Santolina Chamæcyparissus) of the Mediterranean region, formerly used as a vermifuge, etc., and still used to keep moths from wardrobes. Also called ground cypress. -- Lavender water, a perfume, toilet water, or shaving lotion containing the essential oil of lavender, and sometimes the essential oil of bergamot, and essence of ambergris. -- Sea lavender. (Bot.) See Marsh rosemary. -- To lay in lavender. (a) To lay away, as clothing, with sprigs of lavender. (b) To pawn. [Obs.]