1 [mass noun] an orange-yellow flavouring, food colouring, and dye made from the dried stigmas of a crocus.
the orange-yellow colour of saffron: [as modifier]:the saffron robe of a Buddhist monk
2 (also saffron crocus) an autumn-flowering crocus with reddish-purple flowers, native to warmer regions of Eurasia. Enormous numbers of flowers are required to produce a small quantity of the large red stigmas used for the spice.
Crocus sativus, family Iridaceae.
Middle English: from Old French safran, based on Arabic za‘farān
saffron in other Oxford dictionaries
Definition of saffron in the US English dictionary