American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several evergreen shrubs or trees of the genus Myrtus, especially M. communis, an aromatic shrub native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, having pink or white flowers and blue-black berries and widely cultivated as a hedge plant.
- n. See periwinkle2.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Myrtus, primarily M. communis, the classic and favorite common myrtle. It is a bush or small tree with shining evergreen leaves and fragrant white flowers, common in the Mediterranean region. In ancient times it was sacred to Venus, and its leaves formed wreaths for bloodless victors; it was also a symbol of civil authority. It is used in modern times for bridal wreaths. The plant is an unimportant astringent. Its aromatic berries have been used to flavor wine and in cookery. Its flowers, as also its leaves, afford perfumes, the latter used in sachets, etc. Its hard mottled wood is prized in turnery. M. Lumal and M. Meli in Chili furnish valuable hard timber. M. Nummularia, the cranberry-myrtle, is a little trailing vine with edible berries, found from Chili southward.
- n. A name of various similar plants of other genera of the myrtle family (Myrtaceæ), and of other families, many unrelated.
- n. A broad-leafed variety of the true myrtle.
- n. The sweet-gale, Myrica Gale.
- n. An evergreen shrub or small tree of the genus Myrtus, native to southern Europe and north Africa.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A species of the genus Myrtus, especially Myrtus communis. The common myrtle has a shrubby, upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close, full head, thickly covered with ovate or lanceolate evergreen leaves. It has solitary axillary white or rosy flowers, followed by black several-seeded berries. The ancients considered it sacred to Venus. The flowers, leaves, and berries are used variously in perfumery and as a condiment, and the beautifully mottled wood is used in turning.
- n. widely cultivated as a groundcover for its dark green shiny leaves and usually blue-violet flowers
- n. any evergreen shrub or tree of the genus Myrtus
- Middle English mirtille, from Old French, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, diminutive of Latin myrtus, from Greek murtos. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Pearls signify both tears and teeth; the latter are sometimes called hailstones, from their whiteness and moisture; the lips are cornelians or rubies; the gums, a pomegranate flower; the dark foliage of the myrtle is synonymous with the black hair of the beloved, or with the first down on the cheeks of puberty.”
“I have no idea what myrtle is supposed to taste like but I will pay attention to each fluffy little bundle to see if I can identify the oddball one.”
“We would make our home of one of the Cyclades, and there in myrtle-groves, amidst perpetual spring, fanned by the wholesome sea-breezes -- we would live long years in beatific union -- Was there such a thing as death in the world?”
“i was in myrtle beach back in august and caught a shark surf fishing. i was fishin around 7: 30 or 8: 00 at night”
“317 The myrtle is the young hair upon the side face”
“Not to worry — they wake up at different times, so there’s still a very good chance that your crape myrtle is just fine.”
“Then they would turn their faces to the hill, questing for the good odour of the "gall" or bog-myrtle, which is the characteristic smell of good going in the Galloway wilderness.”
“Tropic growths, which I will venture to call myrtle, oleander, laurel, and eucalyptus, environed the hotel, not too closely nor densely, and our increasing party was presently discovered from the head of its steps by a hospitable matron, who with a cry of comprehensive welcome ran within and was replaced by a head-waiter of as friendly aspect and much more English.”
“Beside this beech, there was a pretty little laurel tree, and the arbutus, which one of the sailors, who was from Devonshire, would persist in calling a myrtle bush, although the skipper showed him the berries to convince him to the contrary.”
“[FN#317] The myrtle is the young hair upon the side face”
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