A laurel is a wreath worn on the head, usually as a symbol of victory. If you see an image of Julius Caesar, chances are he's wearing a laurel.

A laurel is a type of wreath — circular, made from leaves and branches — worn on the head in ancient times. The laurel is a symbol of victory that lives on in the phrase "Resting on one's laurels." When you rest on your laurels, you're happy with previous successes but not doing much to continue succeeding. You've gotten lazy and complacent.

Definitions of laurel

n any of various aromatic trees of the laurel family

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Laurus nobilis, bay, bay laurel, bay tree, true laurel
small Mediterranean evergreen tree with small blackish berries and glossy aromatic leaves used for flavoring in cooking; also used by ancient Greeks to crown victors
Cinnamomum camphora, camphor tree
large evergreen tree of warm regions whose aromatic wood yields camphor
Ceylon cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon tree, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, cinnamon
tropical Asian tree with aromatic yellowish-brown bark; source of the spice cinnamon
Cinnamomum cassia, cassia, cassia-bark tree
Chinese tree with aromatic bark; yields a less desirable cinnamon than Ceylon cinnamon
Cinnamomum loureirii, Saigon cinnamon
tropical southeast Asian tree with aromatic bark; yields a bark used medicinally
Persea borbonia, laurel-tree, red bay
small tree of southern United States having dark red heartwood
Sassafras albidum, sassafras, sassafras tree
yellowwood tree with brittle wood and aromatic leaves and bark; source of sassafras oil; widely distributed in eastern North America
California bay tree, California laurel, California olive, Oregon myrtle, Umbellularia californica, mountain laurel, pepperwood, sassafras laurel, spice tree
Pacific coast tree having aromatic foliage and small umbellate flowers followed by olivelike fruit; yields a hard tough wood
Type of:
angiospermous tree, flowering tree
any tree having seeds and ovules contained in the ovary

n (antiquity) a wreath of laurel foliage worn on the head as an emblem of victory

bay wreath, laurel wreath
Type of:
chaplet, coronal, garland, lei, wreath
flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes

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