Ba·​sel·​la | \ bəˈselə, -ˈze- \

Definition of Basella

: a genus of herbaceous annual or biennial vines (the type of the family Basellaceae) having sessile flowers on thickened pedicels and being natives of tropical Asia and Africa where they are used as potherbs — see malabar nightshade

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Basella

borrowed from New Latin, borrowed from Malayalam paśaḷa, pacaḷa “Malabar nightshade”

Note: The Linnaean name (Species Plantarum, 1753, vol. 1, p. 272) is taken from the Hortus Malabaricus sponsored by Hendrik van Rheede, part 7 (Horti Malabarici pars septima, Amsterdam, 1688), plate 24 and p. 45.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Basella

Statistics for Basella

Cite this Entry

“Basella.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on Basella

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!