noun \ˈba-zəl, ˈbā-, -səl\

: an herb that has a sweet smell and that is used in cooking

Full Definition of BASIL

:  any of several aromatic herbs (genus Ocimum) of the mint family; especially :  sweet basil
:  the dried or fresh leaves of a basil used especially as a seasoning

Origin of BASIL

Middle French basile, from Late Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon, from neuter of basilikos
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with BASIL


biographical name \ˈbā-zəl, ˈba-, -səl\

Definition of BASIL

Saint ca 329–379 the Great church father; bishop of Caesarea

Variants of BASIL

Bas·il or Ba·sil·i·us \bə-ˈsi-lē-əs, -ˈzi-\

Rhymes with BASIL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Herb consisting of the dried leaves of Ocimum basilicum, an annual herb of the mint family, native to India and Iran. The dried large-leaf varieties have a fragrant aroma faintly reminiscent of anise, with a warm, sweet, aromatic, mildly pungent flavour. The dried leaves of common basil are less fragrant and more pungent. Basil is widely grown as a kitchen herb. Tea made from basil leaves is a stimulant. The heart-shaped basil leaf is a symbol of love in Italy.


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