Definition of basil in English:

basil

Line breaks: basil
Pronunciation: /ˈbaz(ə)l
 
, -zɪl/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1An aromatic plant of the mint family, native to tropical Asia. The leaves are used as a culinary herb, especially in Mediterranean dishes: garnish the baked pizza with fresh basil [as modifier]: basil sauce
    • Genus Ocimum, family Labiatae: several species, in particular the annual sweet basil (O. basilicum)
    More 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.
  • 2 (also wild basil) A European plant which grows in hedges and scrub.
    • Clinopodium vulgare, family Labiatae
    More example sentences
    • These last featured a plastic pipette at the end of the skewer that was filled with a wild basil pesto dressing to suck when you'd finished the prawns.
    • Wild flowers present include wild basil (Clinopodium vulgare), agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo) and wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum).
    • Wild flowers present include wild basil (Clinopodium vulgare), agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo) and wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum).

Origin

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

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