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 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 The youth can earn extra time outdoors with good behavior to maintain and enjoy the vegetable, flower, and herb garden. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Access the serves elderly, disabled and underprivileged residents of Medina County," 11 July 2020 Instead, people reach for these handy herb scissors, which have five blades for swift slicing of cilantro, basil, mint, and more. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "13 things that make cooking during the summer easier," 10 July 2020 Coriander seeds come from the cilantro plant, but aren’t as easy to find at the store as the fresh herb. Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "Slow cooker recipes that will feed your family for days," 9 July 2020 Her exact herb mix or type of vinegar may vary, but the ratio of herbs and spices to vinegar and olive oil stays the same. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Embracing the wider world': Spices sell quickly as coronavirus encourages home cooks," 8 July 2020 As long as some leafy growth is left behind the plant will continue its unceasing march toward taking over the whole herb bed. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Paul’s Cooking Tips: How to harvest your herb garden without killing the plants," 4 July 2020 But this sweet herb is good for a whole lot more than sauce. Rochelle Bilow, Bon Appétit, "43 Basil Recipes So You Can Eat and Drink It At Every Meal," 30 June 2020 The herb has a crisp, slightly spicy aroma that can energize while relieving stress. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Best Calming Scents to Help You Unwind When You're Stressed," 25 June 2020 Topics of interest will be discussed at each location, including topics such as attracting pollinators, herb gardening, butterfly gardening, farm-to-table gardening, historical period gardening and more. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Pewaukee Area Arts Council will have its first ever virtual garden tour and fundraiser in July," 30 June 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

14 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Herb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herb. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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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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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

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