AskDefine | Define hazel

Dictionary Definition

hazel adj : of a light brown or yellowish brown color


1 Australian tree grown especially for ornament and its fine-grained wood and bearing edible nuts [syn: hazel tree, Pomaderris apetala]
2 the fine-grained wood of a hazelnut tree (genus Corylus) and the hazel tree (Australian genus Pomaderris)
3 any of several shrubs or small trees of the genus Corylus bearing edible nuts enclosed in a leafy husk [syn: hazelnut, hazelnut tree]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Hazel



From PIE *koselos, which is also the source of Corylus.



  1. A tree or shrub of the genus Corylus, bearing edible nuts called hazelnuts or filberts.
  2. The nut of the hazel tree.
  3. The wood of a hazelnut tree.
  4. A greenish-brown colour, the colour of a ripe hazelnut.
    hazel colour:   




tree / shrub
  • Finnish: pähkinäpuu
  • French: noisetier
  • Italian: legno di nocciolo
  • Polish: leszczyna
  • Russian: орех (or'éχ)


  1. Of a greenish-brown colour. (often used to refer to eye colour)



Extensive Definition

The hazels (Corylus) are a genus of deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate northern hemisphere. The genus is usually placed in the birch family Betulaceae, though some botanists split the hazels (with the hornbeams and allied genera) into a separate family Corylaceae.
They have simple, rounded leaves with double-serrate margins. The flowers are produced very early in spring before the leaves, and are monoecious, with single-sex catkins, the male pale yellow and 5–12 cm long, the female very small and largely concealed in the buds, with only the bright red 1–3 mm long styles visible. The seeds are nuts 1–2.5 cm long and 1–2 cm diameter, surrounded by an involucre (husk) which partly to fully encloses the nut. The species are grouped as follows:
  • Nut surrounded by a soft, leafy involucre. Multi-stemmed, suckering shrubs to 12m tall.
  • Nut surrounded by a stiff, spiny involucre. Single-stemmed trees to 20–35 m tall.
    • Involucre moderately spiny and also with glandular hairs.
    • Involucre densely spiny, resembling a chestnut burr.
      • Corylus ferox — Himalayan Hazel. Himalaya, Tibet and southwest China (syn. C. tibetica).
Several hybrids exist, and can occur between species in different sections of the genus, e.g. Corylus × colurnoides (C. avellana × C. colurna).


The nuts of all hazels are edible. The Common Hazel is the species most extensively grown for its nuts, followed in importance by the Filbert. Nuts are also harvested from the other species, but apart from the Filbert, none is of significant commercial importance.
A number of cultivars of the Common Hazel and Filbert are grown as ornamental plants in gardens, including forms with contorted stems (C. avellana 'Contorta', popularly known as "Harry Lauder's walking stick" from its gnarled appearance); with weeping branches (C. avellana 'Pendula'); and with purple leaves (C. maxima 'Purpurea').


hazel in Bulgarian: Леска
hazel in German: Hasel (Botanik)
hazel in Estonian: Sarapuu
hazel in Modern Greek (1453-): Φουντουκιά
hazel in Spanish: Corylus
hazel in Esperanto: Avelujo
hazel in French: Noisetier
hazel in Upper Sorbian: Lěšćina
hazel in Italian: Specie di Corylus
hazel in Georgian: თხილი
hazel in Latin: Corylus
hazel in Lithuanian: Lazdynas
hazel in Dutch: Corylus
hazel in Japanese: ハシバミ属
hazel in Norwegian Nynorsk: Hasselslekta
hazel in Polish: Leszczyna
hazel in Portuguese: Corylus
hazel in Russian: Лещина
hazel in Albanian: Corylus
hazel in Finnish: Pähkinäpensaat
hazel in Swedish: Hassel
hazel in Turkish: Fındık

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

beige, brown, brownish, brownish-yellow, brunet, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, cocoa-brown, coffee, coffee-brown, drab, dun, dun-brown, dun-drab, ecru, fawn, fawn-colored, fuscous, grege, khaki, lurid, nut-brown, olive-brown, olive-drab, seal, seal-brown, sepia, snuff-colored, sorrel, tan, taupe, tawny, toast, toast-brown, umber, umber-colored, walnut, walnut-brown, yellowish-brown
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