Share this entry

heather Line breaks: hea¦ther
Pronunciation: /ˈhɛðə/

Definition of heather in English:


[mass noun]
1A purple-flowered Eurasian heath that grows abundantly on moorland and heathland. Many ornamental varieties have been developed. Also called ling1.
Example sentences
  • Rhododendrons, most heathers, camellias, pieris, skimmia, citrus and many others must have acid soil.
  • Have you ever investigated all the available varieties of heaths and heathers?
  • Skimmias also like to grow in slightly acid soil, making them superb companions for the heathers and ivies of your choice.
1.1 informal Any plant of the Ericaceae family similar to heather; a heath.


Old English hadre, hedre (recorded in place names), of unknown origin. The word was chiefly Scots until the 16th century; the change in the first syllable in the 18th century was due to association with heath.



Example sentences
  • There are warm heathery notes of the toasted Languedoc soil among the bright strawberry and plum tones.
  • This is a wine that Ryanair needs to watch out for: it can transport you in a Proustian rush to the dry, heathery heat of an evening north of Carcassonne for less than £9 return.
  • Even tweeds and heathery mixtures camouflage soil.

Words that rhyme with heather

altogether, feather, leather, nether, tether, together, weather, wether, whether

Definition of heather in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful