hys·​sop ˈhi-səp How to pronounce hyssop (audio)
: a plant used in purificatory sprinkling rites by the ancient Hebrews
: a European mint (Hyssopus officinalis) that has highly aromatic and pungent leaves and is sometimes used as a potherb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Then, tuck in a few sprigs of mint to create flow and movement, and accent with a couple of flowering hyssop tips. Aimee Farrell, New York Times, 22 Oct. 2020 Many of the colorful cut flowers and fragrant herbs found throughout the garden have a dual purpose, including the anise hyssop and flowering oregano seen here. Mike Irvine, Sunset Magazine, 19 Aug. 2020 Evening primrose, coyote thistle, and hummingbird mint (hyssop) are drought-resistant and loved by bees and butterflies. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 16 Mar. 2020 Brewer Alex Ganum creates flavor in this hopless beer by combining spelt, lemongrass, Sichuan peppercorns, hyssop and orange peel and ages it in wine and gin casks. oregonlive, 18 Dec. 2019 Upright puts its deft touch on this hopless beer, which is made with lemongrass, Sichuan peppercorns, hyssop and orange peel then blended after aging in numerous barrels. Andre Meunier, oregonlive, 22 Nov. 2019 Ross recommends the following plants for San Diego gardens: Agastache (hummingbird mint, hyssop): These are showy, fragrant, long-blooming perennials that are highly attractive to hummingbirds as well as bees. Karen Dardick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hyssop.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English ysop, from Old English ysope, from Latin hyssopus, from Greek hyssōpos, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew ēzōbh hyssop

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hyssop was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hyssop

Cite this Entry

“Hyssop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hyssop. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Medical Definition


hys·​sop ˈhis-əp How to pronounce hyssop (audio)
: a European mint (Hyssopus officinalis) having highly aromatic and pungent leaves that have been used to make a tea and as a stimulant and to relieve respiratory symptoms

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