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

Examples of hyssop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its pale green color is the natural result of steeping lemon balm and hyssop in the spirit, and it’s bottled at a bracing 130 proof. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 8 Mar. 2024 But a toasted slice of hyssop focaccia smeared with more of that eerily-convincing not-ricotta and hot honey was chewy and airy, just like a good focaccia should be. Carina Finn, Bon Appétit, 27 Feb. 2024 Harmony also uses a botanical mixture of juniper berries, coriander seed, hyssop, lemon peel, lime peel, angelica root, and orris root to define its flavor. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 27 Sep. 2023 The family includes mint, basil, rosemary, sage, savory, oregano, marjoram, thyme, hyssop, lavender, and more—and also includes a number of other edible and/or ornamental garden plants. Elizabeth Waddington, Treehugger, 28 Aug. 2023 Here, Letz uses lace flower, snapdragon ‘Chantilly’, anise hyssop, ‘Totally Tangerine’ dahlia, and chocolate cosmos, among others. 2. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 9 Feb. 2023 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

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 12 Jun. 2024.

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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