Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An Old World aromatic annual herb (Ocimum basilicum) in the mint family, cultivated for its leaves. Also called sweet basil.
  • n. The leaves of this plant used as a seasoning.
  • n. Any of various plants in the genus Ocimum, native to warm regions, having aromatic foliage and terminal clusters of small, usually white flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant (Ocimum basilicum).
  • n. The leaves of this plant used as a herb.
  • n. The angle to which a joiner's tool is ground away.
  • v. To grind the edge of a tool to an acute angle.
  • n. The skin of a sheep tanned with bark.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The slope or angle to which the cutting edge of a tool, as a plane, is ground.
  • transitive v. To grind or form the edge of to an angle.
  • n. The name given to several aromatic herbs of the Mint family, but chiefly to the common or sweet basil (Ocymum basilicum), and the bush basil, or lesser basil (Ocymum minimum), the leaves of which are used in cookery. The name is also given to several kinds of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum).
  • n. The skin of a sheep tanned with bark.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name of several labiate plants, especially of the genus Ocymum.
  • n. A large cannon throwing a heavy shot. See basilisk, 4.
  • n. An iron or fetter fastened round the ankle of a prisoner.
  • n. A corruption of bezel.
  • n. A corruption of basan.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Roman Catholic Church) the bishop of Caesarea who defended the Roman Catholic Church against the heresies of the 4th century; a saint and Doctor of the Church (329-379)
  • n. any of several Old World tropical aromatic annual or perennial herbs of the genus Ocimum
  • n. leaves of the common basil; used fresh or dried

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French basile, from Medieval Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon, from neuter of basilikos, royal; see basilica.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French basile, from Medieval Latin basilicum, from Ancient Greek βασιλικόν (basilikon, "royal"), from βασιλεύς (basileus, "king"). (Wiktionary)
Variant of bezel? (Wiktionary)
Corrupted from English basan, French basane, Late Latin basanium, from Arabic, properly "lining". (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Also tanned leather of a sheep

    July 1, 2009