1. an herb, Anthriscus cerefolium, of the parsley family, having aromatic leaves used to flavor soups, salads, etc.
  2. any of several other plants of the same genus or allied genera.

Origin of chervil

before 900; Middle English chervelle, Old English cerfelle < Latin chaerephylla, plural of chaerephyllum < Greek chairéphyllon, equivalent to chaîre hail (greeting) + phýllon leaf Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chervil

Contemporary Examples of chervil

  • Finish with a salad of frisee, chives, parsley, tarragon and chervil lightly dressed with the vinaigrette.

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    February 10, 2011

Historical Examples of chervil

British Dictionary definitions for chervil


  1. an aromatic umbelliferous Eurasian plant, Anthriscus cerefolium, with small white flowers and aniseed-flavoured leaves used as herbs in soups and salads
  2. bur chervil a similar and related plant, Anthriscus caucalis
  3. a related plant, Chaerophyllum temulentum, having a hairy purple-spotted stem

Word Origin for chervil

Old English cerfelle, from Latin caerephylla, plural of caerephyllum chervil, from Greek khairephullon, from khairein to enjoy + phullon leaf
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

Word Origin and History for chervil

type of herb, Old English cerfelle "chervil," from Latin chaerephyllum, from Greek khairephyllon; second element phyllon "leaf" (see folio); first element perhaps from khairein "to rejoice" (see hortatory).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper