- any plant of the genus Myrtus, especially M. communis, a shrub of southern Europe having evergreen leaves, fragrant white flowers, and aromatic berries: anciently held sacred to Venus and used as an emblem of love.Compare myrtle family.
- any of certain unrelated plants, as the periwinkle, Vinca minor, and California laurel, Umbellularia californica.
- Also called myr·tle·wood [mur-tl-woo d] /ˈmɜr tlˌwʊd/. the hard, golden-brown wood of the California laurel.
- Also called myrtle green. dark green with bluish tinge.
Origin of myrtle
- a female given name.
Examples from the Web for myrtle
They were racing toward the corner of Tompkins and Myrtle avenues with Johnson at the wheel when another call came over the radio.
Traffic up ahead on Myrtle backed up, and Johnson began weaving in and out.
In 1987, Myrtle Young came on The Tonight Show to show off her rare collection of potato chips.Johnny Carson’s Greatest Moments From Carnac to a Python Grapple
May 7, 2012
Myrtle Beach Tea Party leader Joe Dugan was one of those who said his attention is elsewhere.The Daily Beast’s Guide to the South Carolina Primary
January 21, 2012
By a wide margin, he came across as the least scary, least risky, most cautious choice on the stage at Myrtle Beach.Picking Mitt Romney Is Picking the Least Scary Republican, Not the Most Inspiring
January 17, 2012
You remember I feared the old superstition, and I went to—Myrtle.The Law-Breakers
So speaks he, and shrouds his brows with his mother's myrtle.The Aeneid of Virgil
Her favourite plants were the myrtle, apple-tree, rose, and poppy.Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome
Until then she was very respectfully his friend, Myrtle Musgrove.Moriah's Mourning and Other Half-Hour Sketches
Ruth McEnery Stuart
It was a wedding dress, and there was a veil with it, and a wreath of myrtle.Hunter's Marjory
Margaret Bruce Clarke
- any evergreen shrub or tree of the myrtaceous genus Myrtus, esp M. communis, a S European shrub with pink or white flowers and aromatic blue-black berries
- short for crape myrtle
- bog myrtleanother name for sweet gale
- creeping myrtle or trailing myrtle US and Canadian another name for periwinkle 2 (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for myrtle
c.1400, from Old French mirtile, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, diminutive of Latin myrtus "myrtle tree," from Greek myrtos "the myrtle, a sprig of myrtle," from same Semitic source as Greek myrrha (see myrrh).