noun, often attributive \ˈmər-təl\

: a type of small tree that has sweet-smelling white or pink flowers and black berries

Full Definition of MYRTLE

a :  a common evergreen bushy shrub (Myrtus communis of the family Myrtaceae, the myrtle family) of southern Europe with oval to lance-shaped shiny leaves, fragrant white or rosy flowers, and black berries
b :  any of the chiefly tropical shrubs or trees comprising the myrtle family

Illustration of MYRTLE

Origin of MYRTLE

Middle English mirtille, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, from Latin myrtus, from Greek myrtos
First Known Use: 1562

Rhymes with MYRTLE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of the evergreen shrubs in the genus Myrtus (family Myrtaceae). Authorities differ widely over the number of species included; most occur in South America, while some are found in Australia and New Zealand. Common myrtle (M. communis) is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East and is cultivated in southern England and the warmer portions of North America. Other plants known as myrtle include the mountain laurel and periwinkle. The family Myrtaceae, commonly called the myrtle family, includes the plants that produce the spices allspice and cloves, and the genus Eucalyptus. See also crape myrtle.


Next Word in the Dictionary: myself
Previous Word in the Dictionary: myrrh
All Words Near: myrtle

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up myrtle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).