herb·​al | \ˈ(h)ər-bəl \

Definition of herbal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a book about plants especially with reference to their medicinal properties

2 archaic : herbarium sense 1



Definition of herbal (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, utilizing, or made of herbs

Examples of herbal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While many people have turned to herbals like gingko, St. John's Wort, and black cohash, Shen says these haven't been proven to be effective. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How Long Does Menopause Last?," 6 Sep. 2018 If the traditional glass of warm milk is not your cup of tea, head for the herbals. Karen Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "Trouble sleeping? Let your senses be your guide," 12 July 2018 There’s no data at all that suggests that any herbals, any supplements, will treat influenza or modify the course of the disease. Andy Marso, kansascity, "What’s a parent to do about this record-setting flu? Here’s what you should know," 28 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The chimichurri sauce drizzled over top was a vibrant green and packed plenty of herbal flavor, if not much in the spice department. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Review: For healthy and tasty, new Shelbyville Road restaurant and juice bar hits the spot," 14 Feb. 2018 That means any pain or injury is treated with herbal remedies. Oliver Griffin, WSJ, "Like Your Steak Aged 36 Months? Try 17 Years," 10 July 2018 Take a walk with Kyle Denton of Tippecanoe Herbs, along the trail at Brady St. The walk concludes at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, where herbal remedies will be available for purchase. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Summer 2018 edition)," 4 July 2018 Floral, herbal, citrus and spicy notes blend with a bready touch of malt and a hoppy, very dry finish that’s utterly refreshing. AJC.com, "Beer Pick: New Realm Euphonia Pilsner," 24 Feb. 2018 But while elite players are snacking on light fare including sushi, oatcakes with cream cheese, and herbal teas, this isn’t the first time that head coach Gareth Southgate has made headlines for cracking down on his player’s diets. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "English World Cup team refusing food from Russian room service over poisoning fears, source claims," 19 June 2018 According to a recent analysis, the rate of children taking alternative or herbal supplements nearly doubled, to 6.3% from 3.7%, between 2003 and 2014. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "Do Dietary Supplements Help or Hurt Children?," 2 July 2018 The rest of the drink skews fruity and herbal, thanks to pineapple juice and yellow Chartreuse, a French liqueur that adds a highbrow and slightly medicinal whiff to any cocktail. Marian Bull, GQ, "—Peter Meehan, Author Of An Upcoming Barbecue Book And Former Editor Of," 27 June 2018 Of the 10 cabernet sauvignons our panel judged at the El Dorado County Fair commercial wine competition, this was the most complex, herbal and spicy. Mike Dunne, sacbee, "This year's best local wine you can (mostly) get for under $20," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herbal.' 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 herbal


1516, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1612, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for herbal

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herbal

The first known use of herbal was in 1516

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English Language Learners Definition of herbal

: made of or relating to herbs


herb·​al | \ˈ(h)ər-bəl \

Medical Definition of herbal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a book about plants especially with reference to their medical properties



Medical Definition of herbal (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or made of herbs

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Comments on herbal

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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