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
3 slang : marijuana sense 2

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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 Fennel fronds have a slightly more citrusy flavor than the bulb and stalks, and should be used in the same way as any other soft herb. Washington Post, "How to embrace fennel and add its subtle sweetness to your cooking," 26 Mar. 2021 This one’s served with Irish (root) vegetable stew, baby potatoes, tarragon oil and an herb crumb ($30). Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Easter feasters: Check out these meals and deals around Orlando," 26 Mar. 2021 Za’atar is the Arabic name for origanum syriacum, an herb native to the Levantine swath of the Middle East that includes Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, "The secret ingredient to a lavish Bedouin feast," 27 Feb. 2021 Rolling sage cookie in sage sugar added an additional layer of the unexpected herb. Dallas News, "Our 13 favorite baking cookbooks of 2020," 3 Dec. 2020 In 2006, the Pra’ basil park, a formal property centered on the promotion and cultivation of the herb, was established. Leslie Pariseau, Saveur, "Journey to the Place Where Pesto Was Born," 18 Sep. 2017 When the h is silent, as in honor, honest, hour and herb, use an. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Which one is correct: ‘an historic’ or ‘a historic’?," 20 Mar. 2021 The seed packets, donated by Bi-Mart, will be packaged into 8,000 seed kits of four different plants: one cool-weather vegetable, one warm-weather vegetable, one herb or edible flowers and flowers to encourage pollination. oregonlive, "Oregon Garden Challenge offers free seed packets," 2 Mar. 2021 Generally speaking, accidentally overseasoning a dish with any one kind of mild spice or herb — cumin, for instance, or tarragon — can be balanced by adjusting the amount of salt, acidity or other complementary spices. Washington Post, "You can save almost any overseasoned or oversalted soup, stew or sauce with these tips," 16 Dec. 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

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Herb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herb. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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Comments on herb

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