AskDefine | Define sorrel

Dictionary Definition

sorrel adj : of a light brownish color [syn: brownish-orange]


1 any plant or flower of the genus Oxalis [syn: oxalis, wood sorrel]
2 any of certain coarse weedy plants with long taproots, sometimes used as table greens or in folk medicine [syn: dock, sour grass]
3 East Indian sparsely prickly annual herb or perennial subshrub widely cultivated for its fleshy calyxes used in tarts and jelly and for its bast fiber [syn: roselle, rozelle, red sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, Hibiscus sabdariffa]
4 large sour-tasting arrowhead-shaped leaves used in salads and sauces [syn: common sorrel]
5 a horse of a brownish orange to light brown color

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old French sorele, from sur, from Germanic.



  1. a kind of plant with acidic leaves, especially Rumex acetosa, sometimes used as a salad vegetable
  2. a brown colour, with a tint of red.
    sorrel colour:   




  1. of a brown colour, with a tint of red.



Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Common sorrel (Rumex acetosa), also known as spinach dock and either ambada bhaji or gongoora in Indian cuisine, is a perennial herb that is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable (pot herb).
Sorrel is a slender plant about 60 cm high, with roots that run deep into the ground, as well as juicy stems and edible, oblong leaves. The lower leaves are 7 to 15 cm in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very long petioles. The upper ones are sessile, and frequently become crimson. The leaves are eaten by the larvae of several species of Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) including the Blood-vein moth.
It has whorled spikes of reddish-green flowers, which bloom in June and July, becoming purplish. The stamens and pistils are on different plants (dioecious); the ripe seeds are brown and shining.
Common sorrel has been cultivated for centuries. The leaves may be puréed in soups and sauces or added to salads and shav; they have a flavor that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant's sharp taste is due to oxalic acid, and so may be contraindicated in people with rheumatic-type complaints, kidney or bladder stones. Sorrel is also a laxative.
In the Caribbean, sorrel typically refers to Jamaican Red Sorrel or Roselle.


sorrel in Arabic: حماض بستاني
sorrel in Bulgarian: Киселец
sorrel in Catalan: Agrella
sorrel in Czech: Šťovík kyselý
sorrel in Danish: Almindelig Syre
sorrel in German: Wiesen-Sauerampfer
sorrel in Esperanto: Okzalo
sorrel in Spanish: Rumex acetosa
sorrel in Finnish: Niittysuolaheinä
sorrel in French: Oseille
sorrel in Galician: Aceda
sorrel in Icelandic: Túnsúra
sorrel in Italian: Rumex acetosa
sorrel in Japanese: スイバ
sorrel in Hungarian: Sóska
sorrel in Dutch: Veldzuring
sorrel in Ossetian: Хуырхæг
sorrel in Polish: Szczaw zwyczajny
sorrel in Russian: Щавель
sorrel in Swedish: Ängssyra
sorrel in Vietnamese: Chút chít (cây)
sorrel in Ukrainian: Щавель кислий
sorrel in Chinese: 酸模

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bay, bayard, beige, brown, brownish, brownish-yellow, brunet, buckskin, calico pony, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, cocoa-brown, coffee, coffee-brown, dapple-gray, drab, dun, dun-brown, dun-drab, ecru, fawn, fawn-colored, fuscous, gray, grege, grizzle, hazel, khaki, lurid, nut-brown, olive-brown, olive-drab, paint, painted pony, piebald, pinto, roan, seal, seal-brown, sepia, skewbald, snuff-colored, tan, taupe, tawny, toast, toast-brown, umber, umber-colored, walnut, walnut-brown, yellowish-brown
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