from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woody Eurasian plant (Hyssopus officinalis) having spikes of small blue flowers and aromatic leaves used in perfumery and as a condiment.
  • n. Any of several similar or related plants.
  • n. An unidentified plant mentioned in the Bible as the source of twigs used for sprinkling in certain Hebraic purificatory rites.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several aromatic bushy herbs, of the genus Hyssopus, native to Southern Europe and once used medicinally
  • n. Any of several similar plants
  • n. The sage brush

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plant (Hyssopus officinalis). The leaves have an aromatic smell, and a warm, pungent taste.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small bushy herb of the genus Hyssopus, natural order Labiateæ.
  • n. In Scripture, a plant the twigs of which were used for sprinkling in the ceremony of purification.
  • n. Eccles., same as aspersorium, See quotation from Preseott under aspersion, 1.
  • n. In the western United States. sage-brush, Artemisia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. bitter leaves used sparingly in salads; dried flowers used in soups and tisanes
  • n. a European mint with aromatic and pungent leaves used in perfumery and as a seasoning in cookery; often cultivated as a remedy for bruises; yields hyssop oil


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English ysope, from Old English ȳsōpe, from Latin hȳsōpum, hyssōpus, from Greek hussōpos, probably of Semitic origin; akin to Aramaic 'ezobā.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ὕσσωπος (hussopos), of Semitic origin.


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  • The name hyssop was given to a number of different plants in olden times.

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  • But it is founded upon gospel-grace: Purge me with hyssop, that is, with the blood of Christ applied to my soul by

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  • Growing in this village was an aromatic heaven: wild flowers covered the hills and meadows in the spring, filling the air with their delicate and sweet scents; aromatic herbs such as hyssop, sage, thyme and white mint grew on the mountains.

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  • It was the purging of this "hyssop" that made it possible for him even in the "Marguerite" poems, to write as only those can write whose passion is more than the craving of the flesh.

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  • Season of the Inundation: Sweet, black silt mingled with holy myrrh, melilot, hyssop, spikenard, balsam, cedar, and a hint of melting snow from the Abyssinian hills.

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  • "I love za'atar, which is a combination of sumac, hyssop, sesame, salt and pepper," she said.

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  • The priest shall command that two live, ritually pure birds, and some cedar wood, crimson cloth and hyssop, be brought for the one who is to be cleansed.

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  • He shall then take the living bird, along with the cedar wood and the crimson cloth and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird into the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water.

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  • Their grandmother in Aurora, Ill., had a miracle cure for knee pain: applying a package of frozen peas to the patella while taking massive doses of castor oil and hyssop.

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  • When the flaming lute-thronged angelic door is wide;

    When an immortal passion breathes in mortal clay;

    Our hearts endure the scourge, the plaited thorns, the way

    Crowded with bitter faces, the wounds in palm and side,

    The hyssop-heavy sponge, the flowers by Kidron stream:

    We will bend down and loosen our hair over you,

    That it may drop faint perfume, and be heavy with dew,

    Lilies of death-pale hope, roses of passionate dream.

    - W.B. Yeats, 'The Travail of Passion'.

    September 18, 2009

  • See also agastache.

    October 2, 2008

  • "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7)

    July 29, 2008