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

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Other Words from herb

herblike \ ˈ(h)ərb-​ˌlīk How to pronounce herb (audio) \ adjective
herby \ ˈ(h)ər-​bē How to pronounce herb (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 That works on containing mint plants in an herb garden, too. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "Neil Sperry: The best way to treat for dandelions," 1 Jan. 2021 When they’re made well and stored correctly, aged Cabernet can take on a potpourri of savory herb and flower characters, along with notes like leather, caramel and mocha. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "5 Things to know about Cabernet Sauvignon, America’s most important wine grape," 13 Oct. 2016 For the climate-conscious home chef, a non-toxic pan or countertop herb garden would surely be put to good use (and will secure you an invite to future dinners). Emily Farra, Vogue, "34 Gifts for the Conscious Shopper to Give (and Receive)," 3 Dec. 2020 Working on a project, such as growing a window herb garden or decluttering your house, can also help decrease feelings of powerlessness. Washington Post, "Why uncertain times make us susceptible to conspiracy theories — and how to protect yourself," 8 Oct. 2020 Biessener has a pumpkin-gingerbread challah, and Lerner offers several varieties, including cinnamon-sugar and garlic-herb. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "Twin Cities bakers put their own twist on challah," 4 Dec. 2020 Without a thermometer on hand, getting spot-on tap water for your kitchen adventures—110 degrees to bloom yeast, or 65 to water a particularly picky potted herb, for example—is a game of guesswork. Popular Science, "The 8 most helpful new home products of 2020," 3 Dec. 2020 There is also a green herb, papalo, used a lot in Puebla City, but that is seasonal. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "There's so much more to Mexican food, says La Dama executive chef," 27 Oct. 2020 Originating in Asia, where they were cultivated as a medicinal herb, chrysanthemums were introduced to Japan in the fifth century and are considered a symbol of the country itself. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: Chrysanthemums fill our region with brilliant fall colors," 10 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for herb

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for herb

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Herb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herb. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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

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