any plant of the genus Myrtus, especially M. communis, a shrub of southern Europe having evergreen leaves, fragrant white flowers, and aromatic berries: anciently held sacred to Venus and used as an emblem of love. Compare myrtle family.
any of certain unrelated plants, as the periwinkle, Vinca minor, and California laurel, Umbellularia californica.
Also called myrtlewood [mur-tl-wood] . the hard, golden-brown wood of the California laurel.
Also called myrtle green. dark green with bluish tinge.

1350–1400; Middle English mirtile < Medieval Latin myrtillus, equivalent to Latin myrt(us) (< Greek mýrtos) + Neo-Latin -illus diminutive suffix Unabridged


[mur-tl] .
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
myrtle (ˈmɜːtəl)
1.  any evergreen shrub or tree of the myrtaceous genus Myrtus, esp M. communis, a S European shrub with pink or white flowers and aromatic blue-black berries
2.  short for crape myrtle
3.  another name for sweet gale bog myrtle
4.  (US), (Canadian) creeping myrtle, trailing myrtle another name for periwinkle
[C16: from Medieval Latin myrtilla, from Latin myrtus, from Greek murtos]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, from O.Fr. mirtile, from M.L. myrtillus, dim. of myrtus "myrtle tree," from Gk. myrtos, from same Sem. source as Gk. myrrha (see myrrh).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Myrtle definition

(Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the East by the name _as_, the Myrtus communis of the botanist. "Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives), excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor, and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Palestine" (Tristram).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences for myrtle
As in other members of the myrtle family, eucalyptus leaves are covered with oil glands.
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