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

  • noun An aromatic evergreen Mediterranean shrub (Rosmarinus officinalis) in the mint family, having light blue or pink flowers and narrow grayish-green leaves that are used in cooking and perfumery.
  • noun The leaves of this plant used as a seasoning.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Australia, any one of several species of the genus Westringia, belonging to the mint family, especially W. Dampieri, whose resemblance to the rosemary of Europe led Dampier to give its name to Rosemary Island in the Dampier archipelago.
  • noun An evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, native in southern Europe, widely cultivated. (See Rosmarinus.)

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

  • noun A labiate shrub (Rosmarinus officinalis) with narrow grayish leaves, growing native in the southern part of France, Spain, and Italy, also in Asia Minor and in China. It has a fragrant smell, and a warm, pungent, bitterish taste. It is used in cookery, perfumery, etc., and is an emblem of fidelity or constancy.
  • noun See under Marsh.
  • noun the loblolly pine. See under Loblolly.

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

  • noun a shrub that originates from Europe and Asia Minor and produces a fragrant herb used in cooking and perfumes.

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

  • noun widely cultivated for its fragrant grey-green leaves used in cooking and in perfumery
  • noun extremely pungent leaves used fresh or dried as seasoning for especially meats


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

[Alteration (probably influenced by rose and Mary) of Middle English rosmarine, from Latin rōs marīnus, rōsmarīnum : rōs, dew (perhaps from the essential oil glands on the whitish underside of its leaves ) + marīnus, of the sea; see marine.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ros ("dew") marinus ("marine, of the sea")



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  • Rosemary

    Beauty and Beauty's son and rosemary –

    Venus and Love, her son, to speak plainly –

    born of the sea supposedly,

    at Christmas each, in company,

    braids a garland of festivity.

         Not always rosemary –

    since the flight to Egypt, blooming differently.

    With lancelike leaf, green but silver underneath,

    its flowers – white originally –

    turned blue. The herb of memory,

    imitating the blue robe of Mary,

         is not too legendary

    to flower both as symbol and as pungency.

    Springing from stones beside the sea,

    the height of Christ when thirty-three –

    not higher – it feeds on dew and to the bee

    "hath a dumb language"; is in reality

         a kind of Christmas tree.

    – Marianne Moore

    December 8, 2007

  • Usage/historical note in comment on dittany.

    January 8, 2017