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[his-uh p] /ˈhɪs əp/
any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Hyssopus, of the mint family, especially H. officinalis, native to Europe, having clusters of small blue flowers.
any of several related or similar plants, especially of the genera Agastache or Gratiola.
Bible. a plant, perhaps the origan, whose twigs were used in ceremonial sprinkling.
Origin of hyssop
before 900; Middle English, Old English ysope < Late Latin ysōpus, for Latin hyssōpus < Greek hýssōpos < Semitic (compare Hebrew ēzōbh); conformed to Latin or Gk from mid-16th century Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hyssop
Historical Examples
  • Major Brent and Colonel hyssop observed her in decorously suppressed sympathy.

    A Young Man in a Hurry Robert W. Chambers
  • “And then he'd have thousands to my poor tens,” said hyssop.

    Humorous Ghost Stories Dorothy Scarborough
  • "Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

    Life and Times of David Charles Henry Mackintosh
  • It was therefore used with hyssop as a type of purification.

  • Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

  • It was not the vinegar on hyssop that explains the deed on the cross.

    Our Part in the Great War Arthur Gleason
  • The blood must be sprinkled on the—door, and it most be sprinkled by a bunch of—hyssop.

    The Sabbath-School Index Richard Gay Pardee
  • You see, hyssop Burges was my mother, and when father died I had the rights of the story from her.

    Humorous Ghost Stories Dorothy Scarborough
  • The curate then took the hyssop and sprinkled the stones with holy water.

    The Social Cancer Jos Rizal
British Dictionary definitions for hyssop


a widely cultivated Asian plant, Hyssopus officinalis, with spikes of small blue flowers and aromatic leaves, used as a condiment and in perfumery and folk medicine: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
any of several similar or related plants such as the hedge hyssop
a Biblical plant, used for sprinkling in the ritual practices of the Hebrews
Word Origin
Old English ysope, from Latin hyssōpus, from Greek hussōpos, of Semitic origin; compare Hebrew ēzōv
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hyssop

Old English ysope, from Irish Latin hysopus, from Greek hyssopos, a plant of Palestine, used in Jewish purification rites, from Hebrew 'ezobh (cf. Syriac zupha, Arabic zufa).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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