American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An Old World aromatic annual herb (Ocimum basilicum) in the mint family, cultivated for its leaves. Also called sweet basil.
- n. The leaves of this plant used as a seasoning.
- n. Any of various plants in the genus Ocimum, native to warm regions, having aromatic foliage and terminal clusters of small, usually white flowers.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name of several labiate plants, especially of the genus Ocymum. O. basilicum, a native of India, is much used in cookery, especially in France, and is known as sweet or common basil. Bush or lesser basil is O. minimum. The holy basil of India, O. sanctum, is considered sacred to Vishnu, and rosaries are made of its wood. For the wild, stone, or field basil of Europe, see
basil-weed. In the United States the name is given to other aromatic labiates, especially to species of Pycnanthemum.
- n. A large cannon throwing a heavy shot. See basilisk, 4.
- n. An iron or fetter fastened round the ankle of a prisoner.
- n. A corruption of bezel.
- n. A corruption of basan.
- n. The skin of a sheep tanned with bark.
- n. The angle to which a joiner's tool is ground away.
- v. transitive To grind the edge of a tool to an acute angle.
- n. A plant (Ocimum basilicum).
- n. The leaves of this plant used as a herb.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The slope or angle to which the cutting edge of a tool, as a plane, is ground.
- v. To grind or form the edge of to an angle.
- n. (Bot.) The name given to several aromatic herbs of the Mint family, but chiefly to the common or sweet basil (Ocymum basilicum), and the bush basil, or lesser basil (Ocymum minimum), the leaves of which are used in cookery. The name is also given to several kinds of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum).
- n. The skin of a sheep tanned with bark.
- n. (Roman Catholic Church) the bishop of Caesarea who defended the Roman Catholic Church against the heresies of the 4th century; a saint and Doctor of the Church (329-379)
- n. any of several Old World tropical aromatic annual or perennial herbs of the genus Ocimum
- n. leaves of the common basil; used fresh or dried
- From Old French basile, from Medieval Latin basilicum, from Ancient Greek βασιλικόν (basilikon, "royal"), from βασιλεύς (basileus, "king"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French basile, from Medieval Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon, from neuter of basilikos, royal; see basilica. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word basil is derived from the Greek word for king, suggesting that the ancient healers held this aromatic plant in high regard.”
“Dr. Corry said, "We get what we call basil cell carecenomas and skin cancer on the eyes right on the margin around the eyelashes," and that requires surgery that could be prevented by thinking a little more about your eyes.”
“I'm fascinated by the way this little basil is growing.”
“Extract the basil from the water and squeeze it dry as much as possible with your hands.”
“Fresh basil is not mentioned in the ingredients portion but I used it in addition to the dried oregano.”
“The spicy basil is energetic, but I'm not sure that's going to offer up seed for some time to come.”
“In other news, the lettuce-leaf basil is enormous and profligate, and I'm expecting it to flower and seed soon.”
“Agwaramgbo said "a small amount of lead above detection limits was seen in basil leaves" that the researchers planted on experimental soil with lead levels above 400 ppm.”
“The purple basil is a good call because the green will discolor when heated anyway.”
“No, basil is more like getting a whiff of an old lover's cologne, but not not being able to remember the name (of the cologne, not necessarily the lover).”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘basil’.
All the scientific words found in the official EU nomenclature. For the screening I used Vocabgrabber of the Visual Thesaurus.
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This is the place to add words you'd like Charles Harrington Elster to pronounce for you!
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Delicious scents in an edible nibble.
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