Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several evergreen shrubs or trees of the genus Myrtus, especially M. communis, an aromatic shrub native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, having pink or white flowers and blue-black berries and widely cultivated as a hedge plant.
  • n. See periwinkle2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An evergreen shrub or small tree of the genus Myrtus, native to southern Europe and north Africa.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of the genus Myrtus, especially Myrtus communis. The common myrtle has a shrubby, upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close, full head, thickly covered with ovate or lanceolate evergreen leaves. It has solitary axillary white or rosy flowers, followed by black several-seeded berries. The ancients considered it sacred to Venus. The flowers, leaves, and berries are used variously in perfumery and as a condiment, and the beautifully mottled wood is used in turning.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Myrtus, primarily M. communis, the classic and favorite common myrtle.
  • n. A name of various similar plants of other genera of the myrtle family (Myrtaceæ), and of other families, many unrelated.
  • n. A broad-leafed variety of the true myrtle.
  • n. The sweet-gale, Myrica Gale.

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

  • n. widely cultivated as a groundcover for its dark green shiny leaves and usually blue-violet flowers
  • n. any evergreen shrub or tree of the genus Myrtus

Etymologies

Middle English mirtille, from Old French, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, diminutive of Latin myrtus, from Greek murtos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Pearls signify both tears and teeth; the latter are sometimes called hailstones, from their whiteness and moisture; the lips are cornelians or rubies; the gums, a pomegranate flower; the dark foliage of the myrtle is synonymous with the black hair of the beloved, or with the first down on the cheeks of puberty.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • I have no idea what myrtle is supposed to taste like but I will pay attention to each fluffy little bundle to see if I can identify the oddball one.

    Marshmallows revisited..

  • We would make our home of one of the Cyclades, and there in myrtle-groves, amidst perpetual spring, fanned by the wholesome sea-breezes -- we would live long years in beatific union -- Was there such a thing as death in the world?

    III.9

  • i was in myrtle beach back in august and caught a shark surf fishing. i was fishin around 7: 30 or 8: 00 at night

    we go to myrtle beach about every year and I never get to catch a shark. There is always a buch of people so I cant shore fish.

  • 317 The myrtle is the young hair upon the side face

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Not to worry — they wake up at different times, so there’s still a very good chance that your crape myrtle is just fine.

    This beautiful specimen is my crape myrtle « Sugar Creek Gardens’ Blog

  • Then they would turn their faces to the hill, questing for the good odour of the "gall" or bog-myrtle, which is the characteristic smell of good going in the Galloway wilderness.

    Patsy

  • Tropic growths, which I will venture to call myrtle, oleander, laurel, and eucalyptus, environed the hotel, not too closely nor densely, and our increasing party was presently discovered from the head of its steps by a hospitable matron, who with a cry of comprehensive welcome ran within and was replaced by a head-waiter of as friendly aspect and much more English.

    Roman Holidays, and Others

  • Beside this beech, there was a pretty little laurel tree, and the arbutus, which one of the sailors, who was from Devonshire, would persist in calling a myrtle bush, although the skipper showed him the berries to convince him to the contrary.

    On Board the Esmeralda Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story

  • [FN#317] The myrtle is the young hair upon the side face

    Arabian nights. English

Comments

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  • If someone called me an "unimportant astringent", I would be sad. And also confused.

    August 18, 2012

  • I like this part from the Century: "In ancient times it was sacred to Venus, and its leaves formed wreaths for bloodless victors; it was also a symbol of civil authority. It is used in modern times for bridal wreaths. The plant is an unimportant astringent. Its aromatic berries have been used to flavor wine and in cookery. Its flowers, as also its leaves, afford perfumes, the latter used in sachets, etc. Its hard mottled wood is prized in turnery."

    August 15, 2012

  • This was suggested by skipvia on logos' profile, but it really belongs on this list too.

    August 21, 2008