Etymology
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heather (n.)

early 14c., hathir, from Old English *hæddre, Scottish or northern England dialect name for Calluna vulgaris, probably altered by heath, but real connection to that word is unlikely [Liberman, OED]. Perhaps originally Celtic. As a fem. proper name little used in U.S. before 1935, but a top-15 name for girls born there 1971-1989.

updated on September 08, 2012

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Definitions of heather from WordNet

heather (n.)
common Old World heath represented by many varieties; low evergreen grown widely in the northern hemisphere;
Synonyms: ling / Scots heather / broom / Calluna vulgaris
heather (n.)
interwoven yarns of mixed colors producing muted greyish shades with flecks of color;
Synonyms: heather mixture
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.