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[nahrd] /nɑrd/
an aromatic Himalayan plant, believed to be the spikenard, Nardostachys jatamansi, the source of an ointment used by the ancients.
the ointment.
Origin of nard
1350-1400; Middle English narde < Latin nardus < Greek nárdos < Semitic; compare Hebrew nērd
Related forms
[nahr-din, -dahyn] /ˈnɑr dɪn, -daɪn/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nard
Historical Examples
  • And he smelled the smoke of nard and soltziphal burning in the cressets of the servants of Tishnar.

    The Three Mulla-mulgars Walter De La Mare
  • I can “break the ball of nard,” and make perfume, “but still the sleeper sleeps.”

  • "The warmth of thy garments hath a goodlier smell than myrrh, than nard," he is saying, avidly touching her ear with his lips.

  • So all the fire is continually a-crackle, amidst a thin smoke of a smell like nard.

    The Three Mulla-mulgars Walter De La Mare
  • nard, nrd, n. an aromatic plant usually called Spikenard: an ointment prepared from it.

  • Thus he mentions pira nardina, a pear with the scent of nard; pira onynchina, a pear of the colour of the fingernail, and others.

  • At Palermo you boasted you loved to talk with a foe over two sword-blades; Syrian nard softens your courage and your arm.

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • By subtle means, insidious as the breath of nard, corruption of primeval sin was spread from race to race.

  • Everywhere was given out the odor of nard, to which Vinicius had grown used, and which he had learned to love in the Orient.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
British Dictionary definitions for nard


another name for spikenard (sense 1), spikenard (sense 2)
any of several plants, such as certain valerians, whose aromatic roots were formerly used in medicine
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek nárdos, perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit nalada Indian spikenard, perhaps via Semitic (Hebrew nēr'd, Arabic nārdīn)
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 nard

late 14c., from Old French narde (Modern French nard), from Latin nardus, from Greek nardos, of Eastern origin (cf. Hebrew ner'd, plural n'radim; Arabic and Persian nardin, Sanskrit narada, nalada, name of an aromatic balsam).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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