Definition of spikenard in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈspʌɪknɑːd/


1 [mass noun] historical A costly perfumed ointment much valued in ancient times.
Example sentences
  • Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
  • Note the reference to spikenard in the Song of Solomon and in the Gospels.
  • A daily glass of konditon, strong in spikenard, was recommended in March: anise wine was appropriate for April.
2The Himalayan plant of the valerian family that produces the rhizome from which spikenard was prepared. See also ploughman's spikenard.
  • Nardostachys grandiflora, family Valerianaceae.


Middle English: from medieval Latin spica nardi (see spike2, nard), translating Greek nardostakhus.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: spike|nard

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.