mul·​lein ˈmə-lən How to pronounce mullein (audio)
variants or less commonly mullen
: any of a genus (Verbascum) of usually woolly-leaved Eurasian herbs of the snapdragon family including some that are naturalized in North America

Examples of mullein in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Leaving blackberry, mullein, ironweed, mountain mint, Joe Pye weed, sunflowers and wild bergamot standing can make a huge difference. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 When the egg hatches, the larva secretes a specific combination of mullein and micromolide to soak the cockroach. Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2013 Bluebirds flit about a meadow of mullein and wild roses. Tammy Webber, Fortune, 2 Nov. 2022 The large woolly leaves of the mullein were on the ground while its stem was in the air, its tall spikes spattered and speckled with bright yellow flowers. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2022 As the short, rocky trail descends among hairy stands of common mullein that can sprout corn-like shoots to over 6 feet high, riparian vegetation closes in on the trail. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 8 July 2022 Commonly known as moth mullein for its antenna-like stamens, this species was introduced to North America in the 1800s and lives an unassuming life in fields and meadows. Cara Giaimo New York, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021 Early European settlers used common mullein seeds to paralyze fish. Popular Science, 28 Mar. 2020 Today, mullein leaves are occasionally used to fashion insoles for weary hikers. Popular Science, 28 Mar. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mullein.' 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 moleyne, from Anglo-French moleine

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mullein was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near mullein

Cite this Entry

“Mullein.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also mullen
: a tall herb related to the snapdragons and having coarse woolly leaves and spikes of usually yellow flowers

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