Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woody Eurasian plant (Hyssopus officinalis) in the mint family, having spikes of small blue or violet flowers and aromatic leaves used in perfumery, as a condiment, and formerly in medicine.
  • noun Any of several similar or related plants, such as some species in the genus Agastache.
  • noun An unidentified plant mentioned in the Bible as the source of twigs used for sprinkling in certain Hebraic purification rites.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun bitter leaves used sparingly in salads; dried flowers used in soups and tisanes
  • noun 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

Etymologies

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.

Examples

  • Though well known in ancient times, this plant is probably not the one known as hyssop in

    Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation Harvesting Curing and Uses

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

    Article Source

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

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • 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.

    Archive 2006-02-01

  • 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.

    Visions and Revisions A Book of Literary Devotions

  • 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.

    In the Valley of the Shadow

  • 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.

    In the Valley of the Shadow

  • 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.

    In the Valley of the Shadow

  • 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.

    Thor's Day

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

    Martha Stewart sets her sights on Israel

Comments

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

    July 29, 2008

  • See also agastache.

    October 2, 2008

  • 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