[ uh-reg-uh-noh, aw-reg‐ ]
/ əˈrɛg əˌnoʊ, ɔˈrɛg‐ /


an aromatic herb, Origanum vulgare, of the mint family, having leaves used as seasoning in cooking.

Nearby words

  1. oread,
  2. orebody,
  3. orecchiette,
  4. orectic,
  5. oreg.,
  6. oregon,
  7. oregon cedar,
  8. oregon city,
  9. oregon crab apple,
  10. oregon fir

Compare marjoram.

Origin of oregano

1765–75; < American Spanish orégano, Spanish: wild marjoram < Latin orīganum. See origan

Also called pot marjoram.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oregano

British Dictionary definitions for oregano


/ (ˌɒrɪˈɡɑːnəʊ) /


a Mediterranean variety of wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare), with pungent leaves
the dried powdered leaves of this plant, used to season food
See also origanum

Word Origin for oregano

C18: American Spanish, from Spanish, from Latin orīganum, from Greek origanon an aromatic herb, perhaps marjoram

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 oregano



1771, from Spanish or American Spanish oregano, from Latin origanus, origanum, from Greek oreiganon, from oros "mountain" (see oread) + ganos "brightness, ornament." The older form of the word in English was the Latin-derived origanum (mid-13c.), also origan (early 15c.). In Europe, the dried leaves of wild marjoram; in America, a different, and more pungent, shrub.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper