spikenard

noun

spike·​nard ˈspīk-ˌnärd How to pronounce spikenard (audio)
1
a
: a fragrant ointment of the ancients
b
: a Himalayan aromatic plant (Nardostachys jatamansi) of the valerian family from which spikenard is believed to have been derived
2
: a North American perennial herb (Aralia racemosa) of the ginseng family with an aromatic root and panicled umbels

Examples of spikenard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thus Jesus defended the woman who anointed him with costly oil of spikenard. Julian Bell, The New York Review of Books, 20 July 2023 For example, a chartreuse shrub that brightens some shady spots at the Arboretum is Sun King Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’). Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 21 Aug. 2022 And in the chapter that follows, immediately after this story, Jesus submits to the anointing of Lazarus’ sister Mary, who breaks open a costly lot of spikenard and anoints his feet with it (12:3). The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Feb. 2021

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French spicanarde, from Medieval Latin spica nardi, literally, spike of nard

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near spikenard

Cite this Entry

“Spikenard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spikenard. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

spikenard

noun
spike·​nard ˈspīk-ˌnärd How to pronounce spikenard (audio)
: a North American herb with a fragrant root and clusters of small whitish flowers

Medical Definition

spikenard

noun
spike·​nard ˈspīk-ˌnärd How to pronounce spikenard (audio)
1
a
: a fragrant ointment of the ancients
b
: a Himalayan aromatic plant (Nardostachys jatamansi) from which spikenard is believed to have been derived
2
: an American herb of the genus Aralia (A. racemosa) whose dried rhizome and roots have been used as a diaphoretic and aromatic

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