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basil

[baz-uh l, bas-, bey-zuh l, -suh l] /ˈbæz əl, ˈbæs-, ˈbeɪ zəl, -səl/
noun
1.
any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Ocimum, of the mint family, as O. basilicum (sweet basil) having purplish-green ovate leaves used in cooking.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English basile < Middle French < Late Latin basilicum < Greek basilikón, neuter of basilikós royal. See basilic

Basil

[baz-uh l, bas-, bey-zuh l, -suh l] /ˈbæz əl, ˈbæs-, ˈbeɪ zəl, -səl/
noun
1.
Saint. Also, Basilius, ("the Great") a.d. 329?–379, bishop of Caesarea in Asia Minor (brother of Saint Gregory of Nyssa).
2.
a male given name: from a Greek word meaning “royal.”.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for basil
  • basil has a bright, complex, and slightly anise flavor that enhances a wide array of summer fruits and vegetables.
  • Plant a few extra basil plants this summer and get a head start on your holiday gift needs.
  • Plant these six basil varieties together for delicious harvest all summer.
  • More than half the basil in my garden ends up in bouquets.
  • Broil these tomato-basil-cheese sandwiches in the oven for a hot meal in minutes.
  • The sprouts give a touch of crunch and sweetness, the basil depth.
  • Mouth-watering appetizers include this delicious tart with basil-infused feta, greens and a balsamic reduction.
  • Keep jars of chopped garlic, ginger, and basil in your kitchen to speed up meal preparation.
  • Add the pine nuts and basil and again mash or purée to a paste.
  • Lots of people make ramp pesto, mostly as versions of the typical recipe, with basil and pine nuts.
British Dictionary definitions for basil

basil

/ˈbæzəl/
noun
1.
Also called sweet basil. a Eurasian plant, Ocimum basilicum, having spikes of small white flowers and aromatic leaves used as herbs for seasoning: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2.
Also called wild basil. a European plant, Satureja vulgaris (or Clinopodium vulgare), with dense clusters of small pink or whitish flowers: family Lamiaceae
3.
basil-thyme, a European plant, Acinos arvensis, having clusters of small violet-and-white flowers: family Lamiaceae
Word Origin
C15: from Old French basile, from Late Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon, from basilikos royal, from basileus king

Basil

/ˈbæzəl/
noun
1.
Saint, called the Great, ?329–379 ad, Greek patriarch: an opponent of Arianism and one of the founders of monasticism. Feast day: Jan 2, June 14, or Jan 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for basil
n.

aromatic shrubby plant, early 15c., from Old French basile (15c., Modern French basilic), from Medieval Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon (phyton) "royal (plant)," from basileus "king" (see Basil). So called, probably, because it was believed to have been used in making royal perfumes. In Latin, confused with basiliscus (see basilisk) because it was supposed to be an antidote to the basilisk's venom.

Basil

masc. proper name, from Latin Basilius, from Greek Basileios "kingly, royal," from basileus "king," of unknown origin, possibly from a language of Asia Minor (cf. Lydian battos "king").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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