noun, often attributive
\ ˈərb , 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

3 slang : marijuana sense 2

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Other words from herb

herblike \ˈ(h)ərb-ˌlīk \ adjective
herby \ˈ(h)ər-bē \ adjective

Examples of herb in a Sentence

a dish seasoned with chopped fresh herbs rosemary, sage, and other herbs

Recent Examples on the Web

The luminous snapper laid down a neutral protein base for a cioppino that painted an intriguing line between broth and marinara with herbs, garlic and acidity ladled over shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Reborn Rebelle now San Antonio’s finest seafood restaurant," 14 June 2018 First open to the public in 1983, the space is crammed with herbs, plants, and one of Europe’s oldest rock gardens, built in part from pieces of Icelandic lava. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Secret gardens: A global tour of hidden urban oases," 12 June 2018 Culled from a tradition of Southern family cooking and with more than 500 culinary herbs, spices and blends garnered from around the world, Colonel De's serves up seasonings for all your cooking needs. Melissa Reinert, Cincinnati.com, "NKY has Sugar and Spice Trail to satisfy your sweet tooth," 29 Mar. 2018 Church of the Holy Grail is listed on Weedmaps — an online marijuana forum — as a dispensary selling marijuana herbs, extracts, edibles and topical products. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Court blocks Church of the Holy Grail from dispensing marijuana in Newport Beach," 11 July 2018 Previous cases have stemmed from salad mixes, raspberries, herbs, and other imported produce, the New York Times reports. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Del Monte Veggies Linked to Parasite Outbreak That's Sickened More Than 200 People Already," 9 July 2018 Chefs snip herbs and other greens from the shelves to prepare the day's meals. Nicole Zelniker, USA TODAY, "Startup Farmshelf aims to let restaurants, homeowners grow their own veggies," 3 July 2018 In a large bowl combine the green papaya, carrot threads, herbs, and romaine lettuce. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "Vegetarian Grilling Ideas Sure To Impress Even The Judge-iest BBQ Guests," 3 July 2018 Ludlow Liquors is playing host, working with Bacchanal’s team to serve dishes like roasted mushroom and artichoke with ricotta, citrus and herbs, or grilled octopus with saffron aioli, capers and grapefruit. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Try food and wine from a visiting New Orleans restaurant, plus check out a Pilsen bar giving back to immigrant community groups," 28 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for herb

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herb

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

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More Definitions for herb



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 , 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 \

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

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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 deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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