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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 of basil
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.”.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for basil
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The magistrates, the officers of the Senator's court, are her creatures,—basil no less than the rest.

    Under the Witches' Moon Nathan Gallizier
  • Fischer, basil Jones and my son have been killed in the War.

  • Taking off the corner of the basil when grinding, often answers the purpose.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • Up goes the right of basil the son of Richard, and behold while all cry “a parry!”

    Follow My leader Talbot Baines Reed
  • I also was accorded an unsatisfactory interview with basil Wilberforce.

    Ghosts I Have Seen Violet Tweedale
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
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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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