basil

noun
ba·​sil | \ˈba-zəl, ˈbā-, -səl \

Definition of basil 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of several aromatic herbs (genus Ocimum) of the mint family especially : sweet basil

2 : the dried or fresh leaves of a basil used especially as a seasoning

Basil

biographical name
Bas·​il | \ˈbā-zəl, ˈba-, -səl\
variants: or Basilius \bə-​ˈsi-​lē-​əs, -​ˈzi-​ \

Definition of Basil (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of basil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Transfer the basil to the ice water; drain well and squeeze out all of the excess water. SI.com, "Crudités with Spinach Artichoke and Basil Pesto Dips," 29 Jan. 2018 While everything is roasting, make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, dill, basil, parsley, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Melissa Clark, The Seattle Times, "How to make sheet-pan suppers without the meat," 1 Oct. 2018 Plus, it's made with natural extracts of citrus, basil, and bois de rose, giving that typical sunscreen smell a run for its money. Tanisha Pina, Allure, "Supergoop Is Having a Major Friends and Family Sale on All Its Products," 27 Sep. 2018 Think salad bars with most of the items raised on site, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, basil, and bok choy. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How urban farms in New York schools are raising food to fight inequality," 27 Sep. 2018 Fold in reserved corn, scallions, basil, and bacon. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Creamy Corn Pasta with Bacon and Scallions," 16 Aug. 2018 Some of the country’s leading restaurants offer distinctive pāua dishes, including Logan Brown on Wellington’s lively Cuba Street strip, which serves pāua ravioli with coriander, basil, and lime beurre blanc. Amy Louise Bailey, Vogue, "The 7 Dishes You Have to Eat in New Zealand," 25 July 2018 In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, chopped basil, salt, and black pepper. Karoline Boehm Goodnick, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: A large round of pizza dough is grilled with veggies and ricotta, then drizzled with honey," 9 July 2018 Fish, for instance, makes a great match for many different herbs and spices, especially basil. Erin Palinski-wade, Rd, Cde, Ldn, Good Housekeeping, "5 Simple Ways to Spice Up Your Diabetic Diet," 3 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of basil

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for basil

Noun

Middle English basyl, basyle, shortening (perhaps by confusion with Middle French basile "basilisk") of Middle French basilic or its source, Medieval Latin basilicon, borrowed from Greek basilikón (for presumed basilikòn phytón "royal plant"), noun derivative from neuter of basilikós "royal" — more at basilica

Note: The word basilikón as a name for a plant or herb is marginally attested in ancient and early post-classical Greek, the usual word for what is presumed to be Ocimum basilicum in Greek being ṓkimon. The identity of a lákhanon basilikón ("royal herb") in the pseudo-Aristotelian De plantis (2nd century b.c.) is uncertain. The lexicon of Hesychius (5th-6th centuries a.d., incorporating much ancient material) glosses ṓkimon as "fragrant herb, called basilikón" ("botánē euṓdēs, tò legómenon basilikón").

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Dictionary Entries near basil

basifixed

basifugal

basify

basil

Basil

Basilan

basilar

Statistics for basil

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for basil

The first known use of basil was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for basil

basil

noun

English Language Learners Definition of basil

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

basil

noun
ba·​sil | \ˈba-zəl, ˈbā-\

Kids Definition of basil

: a fragrant mint used in cooking

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More from Merriam-Webster on basil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with basil

Spanish Central: Translation of basil

Nglish: Translation of basil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of basil for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about basil

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