basil

[ baz-uhl, bas-, bey-zuhl, -suhl ]
/ ˈbæz əl, ˈbæs-, ˈbeɪ zəl, -səl /

noun

any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Ocimum, of the mint family: prized for its savory green leaves, sweet basil (O. basilicum) has more than 150 culinary cultivars, including the tiny-leafed bush basil , the large-leafed mammoth basil , and the purple-leafed dark opal basil .

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Origin of basil

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English basile, from Middle French, from Late Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikón, neuter of basilikós “royal”; see origin at basilic

Definition for basil (2 of 2)

Basil
[ baz-uhl, bas-, bey-zuhl, -suhl ]
/ ˈbæz əl, ˈbæs-, ˈbeɪ zəl, -səl /

noun

Saint. Also Basilius. "the Great", a.d. 329?–379, bishop of Caesarea in Asia Minor (brother of Saint Gregory of Nyssa).
a male given name: from a Greek word meaning “royal.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for basil

British Dictionary definitions for basil (1 of 2)

basil
/ (ˈbæzəl) /

noun

Also called: sweet basil a Eurasian plant, Ocimum basilicum, having spikes of small white flowers and aromatic leaves used as herbs for seasoning: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
Also called: wild basil a European plant, Satureja vulgaris (or Clinopodium vulgare), with dense clusters of small pink or whitish flowers: family Lamiaceae
basil-thyme a European plant, Acinos arvensis, having clusters of small violet-and-white flowers: family Lamiaceae

Word Origin for basil

C15: from Old French basile, from Late Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon, from basilikos royal, from basileus king

British Dictionary definitions for basil (2 of 2)

Basil
/ (ˈbæzəl) /

noun

Saint, called the Great, ?329–379 ad, Greek patriarch: an opponent of Arianism and one of the founders of monasticism. Feast day: Jan 2, June 14, or Jan 1
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