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Definition of "basil" []

  • An Old World aromatic annual herb (Ocimum basilicum) in the mint family, cultivated for its leaves. Also called sweet basil. (noun)
  • The leaves of this plant used as a seasoning. (noun)
  • Any of various plants in the genus Ocimum, native to warm regions, having aromatic foliage and terminal clusters of small, usually white flowers. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "basil" in a sentence
  • "The word basil is derived from the Greek word for king, suggesting that the ancient healers held this aromatic plant in high regard."
  • "Dr. Corry said, "We get what we call basil cell carecenomas and skin cancer on the eyes right on the margin around the eyelashes," and that requires surgery that could be prevented by thinking a little more about your eyes."
  • "I'm fascinated by the way this little basil is growing."