Definition of basil in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbāzəl/
Pronunciation: /ˈbazəl/


1An aromatic annual herb of the mint family, native to tropical Asia.
  • Genus Ocimum, family Labiatae: several species, in particular the common sweet basil (O. basilicum) and the low-growing, compact bush basil O. minimum.
Example sentences
  • Elsewhere, the best approach is to treat it as an annual herb such as basil.
  • No wonder basil is among our favorite annual herbs.
  • Some people were sitting and having an argument on who watered the basil and sage last.
1.1The leaves of the basil plant used as a culinary herb, especially in Mediterranean dishes.
Example sentences
  • Choose five of the following fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, chives, mint, chervil, basil, dill, tarragon.
  • Remove from the heat, add the parsley, thyme, basil, tarragon, chervil, and chives and stir to combine.
  • I am now the proud owner of all the fresh basil, bay leaves, thyme, sage and parsley a girl could want.


Late Middle English: from Old French basile, via medieval Latin from Greek basilikon, neuter of basilikos 'royal' (see basilica).

Words that rhyme with basil

bedazzle, dazzle, frazzle, razzle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bas·il

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