noun, often attributive
\ ˈərb How to pronounce herb (audio) , US also and British usually ˈhərb \

Definition of herb

1 botany : a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season
2 : a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities planted parsley, basil, and rosemary in her herb garden

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from herb

herblike \ ˈ(h)ərb-​ˌlīk How to pronounce herblike (audio) \ adjective
herby \ ˈ(h)ər-​bē How to pronounce herby (audio) \ adjective

Examples of herb in a Sentence

a dish seasoned with chopped fresh herbs rosemary, sage, and other herbs
Recent Examples on the Web Lavender is my favorite smell on Earth, and this formula blends three types of the herb with bergamot and tonka bean for a heady, androgynous scent that clings to my neck well into the wee hours. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Beauty Editors Share Their Signature Winter Fragrances," 3 Dec. 2019 In addition to the herbs, potassium and magnesium aid in muscle flexibility and increased energy, while Vitamin C provides antioxidant properties. Jean Chen Smith, Cincinnati.com, "2019/2020 winter running guide: How to stay warm, safe and healthy," 29 Nov. 2019 South Africa exports nearly half of the 16,000 tons of rooibos harvested annually to more than 30 countries, where in addition to tea the reddish-brown herb appears in cocktails, soap and a variety of other products. Brian Browdie, Quartz Africa, "South Africa’s Khoisan community will finally get a share of the commercialization of rooibos," 5 Nov. 2019 In Tudor Britain sage was believed to improve a person’s memory, an assertion that over five centuries later research appeared to back up: according to a study in 2017, eating the herb can stimulate greater cognitive function. The Economist, "What’s so super about super foods?," 1 Nov. 2019 Citrus and herb-roasted turkey with mashed Yukon potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, roasted apple-sage stuffing, giblet gravy and cranberry compote for $26. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, "Here are 10 restaurants in Palm Beach County that will do Thanksgiving for you," 29 Oct. 2019 So Lee started Perilla Kitchen, named for the herb popular in Korean cuisine. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Perilla Kitchen will serve a Korean dinner at its downtown pop-up," 28 Oct. 2019 Fertilized by food scraps from all three businesses, the herbs are used for Larder’s dishes and the teas served at Sophomore and Fadensonnen. Allison Robicelli, Bon Appétit, "Ever Heard of a Communal Restaurant? Here’s How Four Baltimoreans Make It Work," 18 Oct. 2019 Put the herbs in a blender with the salt and 1 cup of oil. ExpressNews.com, "Thursday Recipe: Zucchini Potato Soup with Chicken," 28 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of herb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for herb

Middle English herbe, from Anglo-French, from Latin herba

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about herb

Time Traveler for herb

Time Traveler

The first known use of herb was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for herb

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Herb.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herb. Accessed 10 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for herb


How to pronounce herb (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of herb

: a plant or a part of a plant that is used as medicine or to give flavor to food


\ ˈərb How to pronounce herb (audio) , ˈhərb \

Kids Definition of herb

1 : a plant with soft stems that die down at the end of the growing season
2 : a plant or plant part used in medicine or in seasoning foods


noun, often attributive
\ ˈ(h)ərb How to pronounce herb (audio) \

Medical Definition of herb

1 : a seed plant that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season
2 : a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on herb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for herb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with herb

Spanish Central: Translation of herb

Nglish: Translation of herb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of herb for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about herb

Comments on herb

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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