Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of a sickly yellowish hue or complexion.
  • transitive v. To make sallow.
  • n. A broad-leaved European willow (Salix caprea) having large catkins that appear before the leaves and tough wood used as a source of charcoal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a grayish, yellow-green hue.
  • adj. Dirty; murky.
  • n. A European willow, Salix caprea, that has broad leaves, large catkins and tough wood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The willow; willow twigs.
  • n. A name given to certain species of willow, especially those which do not have flexible shoots, as Salix caprea, S. cinerea, etc.
  • adj. Having a yellowish color; of a pale, sickly color, tinged with yellow.
  • transitive v. To tinge with sallowness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A willow, especially Salix caprea, the great sallow or goat- or hedge-willow.
  • n. An osier; a willow wand.
  • Having a yellowish color; of a brownish-yellow and unhealthy-looking color: said of the skin or complexion.
  • To tinge with a sallow or yellowish color.
  • n. An English collectors' name for certain noctuid moths; a sallow-moth. Thus, Cirrœdia xerampelina is the center-barred sallow.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. unhealthy looking
  • n. any of several Old World shrubby broad-leaved willows having large catkins; some are important sources for tanbark and charcoal
  • v. cause to become sallow

Etymologies

Middle English salowe, from Old English salo.
Middle English saloue, from Old English sealh.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English salowe, from Old English salu, from Proto-Germanic *salwaz (compare Dutch zaluw, dialectal German sal), from Proto-Indo-European *solH- (compare Welsh halog, Latin salīva, Russian соловый (solóvyj, "cream-colored")). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English salwe, from Old English sealh, from Proto-Germanic *salhaz, masculine variant of *salhō, *salhjōn (compare Low German Sal, Saal; Swedish sälg), from Proto-Indo-European *sh₂lk-, *sh₂lik- (compare Welsh helyg, Latin salix), probably originally a borrowing from some other language. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Abner! "and he called his sallow-faced companion, who was already arguing salvation and temperance with some of the crew.

    Hawaii

  • He quotes also a poem that calls the sallow ‘the strength of bees’, and the hawthorn, ‘the barking of hounds’, and the gooseberry bush, ‘the sweetest of trees’, and the yew, ‘the oldest of trees’.

    Later Articles and Reviews

  • As I turned the handle I wondered idly what kind of sallow Turk or bulging-necked German we should find inside.

    Greenmantle

  • "You've been lookin 'kind of sallow these last days, so I've got a spoonful of molasses and sulphur, laid right by yo' plate."

    The Miller of Old Church

  • "You've been lookin 'kind of sallow these last days, so I've got a spoonful of molasses and sulphur laid right by yo' plate."

    The Miller Of Old Church

  • She was wearing a bluish print dress that brought out a kind of sallow warmth in her skin, and although it was nearly four o'clock in the afternoon, her sleeves were tucked up, as if for some domestic work, above the elbows, showing her rather slender but very shapely yellowish arms.

    The History of Mr. Polly

  • He was a tall handsome young man, slightly built, with the kind of sallow complexion that women admire, and I wondered at his preferring my company to that of the womankind on board, who were certainly very civil to him.

    The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers

  • "The bark of what we call asp-wood, ma'am, which is a kind of sallow; they lay up great quantities of it in the autumn as a provision for winter, when they are frozen up for some months."

    The Settlers in Canada

  • She was wearing a bluish print dress that brought out a kind of sallow warmth in her skin, and although it was nearly four o’clock in the afternoon, her sleeves were tucked up, as if for some domestic work, above the elbows, showing her rather slender but very shapely yellowish arms.

    The History of Mr. Polly

  • Their skin will look sallow and saggy because they have been dehydrating or starving themselves.

    A wedding diet is not a piece of cake

Comments

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  • an English 'willow' or a Dutch 'brownish yelllow'

    February 8, 2013

  • I hadn't known a sallow was a willow until reading a book by David Crystal in which he talks about a "leah overgrown with sallows."

    December 20, 2008