basil

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bas·il / ˈbāzəl; ˈbazəl/ • n. an aromatic annual herb of the mint family, native to tropical Asia. • Genus Ocimum, family Labiatae: several species, in particular the common sweet basil (O. basilicum) and the low-growing, compact bush basil O. minimum. ∎  the leaves of this plant used as a culinary herb, esp. in Mediterranean dishes.

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basil an aromatic plant of the mint family, the leaves of which are used as a culinary herb. In Keats' poem ‘Isabella, or the Pot of Basil’, based on a story in the Decameron, Isabella, whose lover has been murdered by her brothers, hides his severed head in a pot with a plant of basil over it, and mourns over it.

Recorded from late Middle English, the name comes via Old French and medieval Latin from Greek basilikos ‘royal’ (see basilica), perhaps because the plant was used in some royal unguent or medicine. In Latin, the name was confused with basiliscus, on the supposition that the plant was an antidote to the poison of a basilisk.


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basilbasil, bedazzle, dazzle, frazzle, razzle •damsel • razzle-dazzle • Basel •bezel, embezzle •Denzil •appraisal, hazel, nasal, phrasal •wych hazel •diesel, easel, teasel, weasel •chisel, drizzle, fizzle, frizzle, grizzle, mizzle, pizzle, sizzle, swizzle, twizzle •reprisal, revisal •nozzle, shemozzle •acausal, causal, clausal, menopausal, monocausal •arousal, carousal, espousal, spousal, tousle •disposal, proposal •accusal, bamboozle, foozle, ouzel, perusal, refusal •guzzle, muzzle, nuzzle, puzzle •mangel-wurzel

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Basil ★★½ 1998 (R)

Turn of the century English aristocrat Basil (Leto) strives for the approval of his overbearing father (Jacobi) while also trying to please the selfish woman he loves (Forlani). Based on the novel by Wilkie Collins. 113m/C VHS . Jared Leto, Claire Forlani, Christian Slater, Derek Jacobi; D: Radha Bharadwaj.

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basil Tropical plant of the mint family, whose leaves are used for flavouring food. It has white or purple flowers. Family Lamiaceae/Labiatae; species Ocimum basilicum.

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basil aromatic plant. XV. — OF. basilic — medL. basilicum — Gr. basilikón, n. of adj. ‘royal’ (see next).

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basil An aromatic herb, Ocimum basilicum and O. minimum; other members of the genus Ocimum are also used as seasoning.

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Basil (Astrologer)

A Florentine astrologer of the fifteenth century.

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