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See also: Reseda and réséda




The flowers of a reseda or mignonette (Reseda odorata; sense 2)

From French réséda, from Latin resēda, said by Pliny the Elder (23–79 C.E.) to be from resēdāre (to soothe), from re- (prefix meaning ‘again’) + sēdare (from sēdō (to assuage, calm)), an allusion to the healing properties of the plant.[1]



reseda (plural resedas)

  1. (botany) Any of various plants of the genus Reseda having small, pale grayish green flowers, such as dyer's rocket (Reseda luteola) and mignonette (Reseda odorata).
    • [1640, John Rider; Francis Holy-Oke [i.e., Francis Holyoake], “Reseda”, in Riders Dictionarie, Corrected and Augmented with the Addition of Many Hundred Words Both out of the Law, and out of the Latine, French, and Other Languages, such as Were and Are with Us in Common Use, but Never Printed till Now, to the Perfecting of the Worke. [...], London: Imprinted by Felix Kingston for Iohn Waterson, OCLC 801362153:
      Reſeda [] An herbe that hath a ſtalke like knots and joynts, a leafe like a nettle, and white in the middle.]
    • 1850 September, “Flora Historica” [pseudonym], “MIGNONETTE.—RESEDA ODORATA.”, in Joseph Harrison, editor, The Floricultural Cabinet, and Florists’ Magazine, volume XVIII, number 45 (New Series), London: Whittaker and Co., Ave Maria Lane, OCLC 614545524, page 223:
      This genus of plants, of which we have twelve species, was named Reseda by the ancients, from resedare to assuage, because some of the species were esteemed good for mitigating pains; and we learn from Pliny, that the Reseda was considered to possess even the power of charming away many disorders. He tells us [] that when it was used to resolve swellings, or to assuage inflammations, it was the custom to repeat the following words, thrice spitting on the ground at each repetition:— / "Reseda, cause these maladies to cease: knowest thou, knowest thou, who hath driven these pullets here? Let the roots have neither head nor foot."
    • 1877, “Blanche”, “[Notes and Queries.] Fertilization of Flowers.”, in J[ohn] E[llor] Taylor, editor, Hardwicke’s Science-Gossip: An Illustrated Medium of Interchange and Gossip for Students and Lovers of Nature, volume XIII, London: Hardwicke & Bogue, 192, Piccadilly, OCLC 707194231, page 21:
      A little work on bees which I read some time ago, states that bees collect pollen only on flowers of the same species, in order not to mix the pollen of different flowers together, and I have several times observed this statement as perfectly true during the time when resedas, roses, and geraniums adorned a bed close to a bee-hive. The same bee or humble-bee which had been on a reseda would only visit resedas, another only geraniums, &c.
  2. (botany, horticulture, specifically) Mignonette (Reseda odorata).
    • 1757, Philip Miller, “May”, in The Gardeners Kalendar; Directing what Works are Necessary to be Done Every Month in the Kitchen, Fruit, and Pleasure-Gardens, as also in the Conservatory and Nursery. With Accounts I. Of the Particular Seasons for the Propagation of All Sorts of Esculent Plants and Fruits, with the Seasons wherein Each Sort is Proper for the Table. II. Of All Sorts of Trees, Plants, and Flowers, with the Time of Their Flowering in Each Month, 11th edition, London: Printed by Charles Rivington, for John Rivington, at the Bible and Crown, in St. Paul's Church-Yard; and James Rivington and James Fletcher, at the Oxford-Theatre, in Pater-noster Row, OCLC 863473516, page 146:
      About the middle of this month, if the ſeaſon proves favourable, you may plant out your hardy annuals, ſuch as Marvel of Peru, Sweet Sultan, China After or Starwort, Sweet Reſeda called Mignonette d'Egypt, French and African Marigolds, Female Balſamine, Capſicum, Brown Jolly, and ſeveral other ſorts, which, if artfully diſpoſed, will afford an agreeable pleaſure, after the beauty of ſpring is paſt; []
    • [2003], H. Panda, “Raw Materials: Products of Natural Origin”, in The Complete Technology Book on Herbal Perfumes & Cosmetics, New Delhi: Ajay Kr. Gupta, National Institute of Industrial Research, →ISBN, page 92:
      Reseda or mignonette is grown in the Grasse region [of France]. The tendency for green notes in recent years has given fresh interest to the reseda note. Absolute oil of reseda has an odour recalling that of violet leaves, but with a rather fine 'powdery' background and a suggestion of rose and a little basil.
  3. A pale greyish-green colour like the flowers of a reseda plant; mignonette.
    reseda colour:  
    • 1873 September 26, “[Supplement to the Chemical News. Chemical Notices from Foreign Sources. Reimann’s Färber Zeitung.] No. 31, 1873”, in William Crookes, editor, The Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science. (With which is Incorporated the “Chemical Gazette.”) A Journal of Practical Chemistry in All Its Applications to Pharmacy, Arts, and Manufactures, volume XXVIII, number 722, London: Henry Gillman, Boy Court, Ludgate Hill, E.C., OCLC 490166608, page 172, column 1:
      This number contains a lis of the manufacturers of tinctorial chemicals to whom prizes have been awarded at the Vienna Exhibition. We find no English name in the catalogue. There are receipts for dyeing wool a bright green; for a finish for pack-thread; for a reseda on genappe; a brown on silk; a printing black on cotton yarn; a blue-black on old cotton, velvets, and velveteens; a chamois and rose on old goods with cotton warps, saffranin on a sumach mordant being recommended for the latter; a black on mixed woollen and silk; a dark green on wool; a cheap violet on woollen piece-goods.


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reseda (not comparable)

  1. Having a pale greyish-green colour like the flowers of a reseda plant; mignonette.
    • 1876 September, M. Hommey, “6. Experiments upon the Uses of Aniline Black, by Vanadium, in Dyeing Woollen and Mixed Tissues”, in Charles O'Neill, editor, The Textile Colourist: A Monthly Journal of Bleaching, Printing, Dyeing, and Finishing Textile Fabrics, and the Manufacture and Application of Colouring Matters, volume II, number 9, Manchester: Palmer and Howe, 1, 3, & 5, Bond Street; London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.; Glasgow: Porteus Bros.; Bradford: Thomas Brear; New York, N.Y.: John Wiley and Son, OCLC 494498088, page 150:
      By mixing a weaker bath than the one indicated the cotton dyes up a dark green, and the wool acquires a dull and weak reseda shade.
    • 1877 March 28, “The Boudoir. Spring Novelties.”, in The Bazaar, the Exchange and Mart, and Journal of the Household, volume XVI, London: [s.n.] 32, Wellington-Street, Strand, W.C., OCLC 62091725, pages 198–199:
      Sateens a 1s. 4½d., 32in. wide, will be very useful, and always look nice, whether as whole or part dresses. There is one of French grey that has a most satin like surface, and another of reseda shade, which is again likely to have a run as a fashionable colour.



Further readingEdit





  1. reseda (plant of the genus Reseda)
  2. (in the plural) the genus Reseda.


Inflection of reseda (Kotus type 13/katiska, no gradation)
nominative reseda resedat
genitive resedan resedoiden
partitive resedaa resedoita
illative resedaan resedoihin
singular plural
nominative reseda resedat
accusative nom. reseda resedat
gen. resedan
genitive resedan resedoiden
partitive resedaa resedoita
inessive resedassa resedoissa
elative resedasta resedoista
illative resedaan resedoihin
adessive resedalla resedoilla
ablative resedalta resedoilta
allative resedalle resedoille
essive resedana resedoina
translative resedaksi resedoiksi
instructive resedoin
abessive resedatta resedoitta
comitative resedoineen



According to Pliny, from resēdō (I soothe).


resēda f (genitive resēdae); first declension

  1. mignonette


First declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative resēda resēdae
Genitive resēdae resēdārum
Dative resēdae resēdīs
Accusative resēdam resēdās
Ablative resēdā resēdīs
Vocative resēda resēdae