basil

[ baz-uh l, bas-, bey-zuh l, -suh l ]
/ ˈbæz əl, ˈbæs-, ˈbeɪ zəl, -səl /

noun

any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Ocimum, of the mint family, as O. basilicum (sweet basil), having purplish-green ovate leaves used in cooking.

Origin of basil

1400–50; late Middle English basile < Middle French < Late Latin basilicum < Greek basilikón, neuter of basilikós royal. See basilic

Definition for basil (2 of 2)

Basil

[ baz-uh l, bas-, bey-zuh l, -suh l ]
/ 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. 2019

Examples 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