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[urb or, esp. British, hurb] /ɜrb or, esp. British, hɜrb/
a flowering plant whose stem above ground does not become woody.
such a plant when valued for its medicinal properties, flavor, scent, or the like.
Often, the herb. Slang. marijuana.
Archaic. herbage.
give it the herbs, Australian Slang. to use full power, especially in accelerating a car.
Origin of herb
1250-1300; Middle English herbe < Old French erbe, herbe < Latin herba
Related forms
herbless, adjective
herblike, adjective


[hurb] /hɜrb/
a male given name, form of Herbert. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for herbs
  • It is one of the revolutionary weight loss formulas that are fully formulated with all potent natural herbs.
  • His camper is bedecked with stadium lights that are always on, and hung with mysterious bundles of herbs.
  • Sprinkle the fillets with the remaining chopped herbs.
  • Within their pages are detailed accounts and illustrations of remedies derived from plants and herbs.
  • At the adjacent table, peruse the dessert selection, with marzipan and expensive herbs and spices.
  • herbs, spices, unusual fruits and flavorings can all elevate a drink to mocktail status.
  • These herbs are food-stuff, and with the proper foods, you can prevent a lot of pain and illnesses.
  • Countless supplements, herbs, alternative treatments.
  • The sooner they can convince people that herbs are bad and pills are good, the better.
  • Your complete guide to growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit in your backyard garden.
British Dictionary definitions for herbs


/hɜːb; US ɜːrb/
a seed-bearing plant whose aerial parts do not persist above ground at the end of the growing season; herbaceous plant
  1. any of various usually aromatic plants, such as parsley, rue, and rosemary, that are used in cookery and medicine
  2. (as modifier): a herb garden
(Caribbean) a slang term for marijuana
Derived Forms
herblike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French herbe, from Latin herba grass, green plants
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 herbs



c.1300, erbe "non-woody plant," from Old French erbe "grass, herb, plant" (12c.), from Latin herba "grass, an herb, herbage, turf." Refashioned after Latin since 15c., but the h- was mute until 19c. Slang meaning "marijuana" is attested from 1960s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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herbs in Science
A flowering plant whose stem does not produce woody tissue and generally dies back at the end of each growing season. Both grasses and forbs are herbs.

herbaceous adjective (hûr-bā'shəs, ûr-)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for herbs

herb 2


Marijuana; pot: So you get fines to pay and you've lost your herbs (1960s+ Narcotics)

herb 1


A tedious, contemptible person; dork, geek, nerd: think you're a couple of reality-impaired herbs (1990s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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herbs in the Bible

(1.) Heb. 'eseb, any green plant; herbage (Gen. 1:11, 12, 29, 30; 2:5; 3:18, etc.); comprehending vegetables and all green herbage (Amos 7:1, 2). (2.) _Yarak_, green; any green thing; foliage of trees (2 Kings 19:26; Ps. 37:2); a plant; herb (Deut. 11:10). (3.) _Or_, meaning "light" In Isa. 26:19 it means "green herbs;" in 2 Kings 4:39 probably the fruit of some plant. (4.) _Merorim_, plural, "bitter herbs," eaten by the Israelites at the Passover (Ex. 12:8; Num. 9:11). They were bitter plants of various sorts, and referred symbolically to the oppression in Egypt.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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