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basil

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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basil

basil (băz´əl), any plant of the genus Ocimum, tender herbs or small shrubs of the family Labiatae (mint family), mostly of Old World warm regions and cultivated for the aromatic leaves. The basil of Keats's "Isabella" (and of Boccaccio's story) is the common or sweet basil (O. basilicum), once considered medicinal. This is the species usually used for seasoning; it is grown commercially chiefly in the Mediterranean area. There are also the holy basil, venerated in India; the bush basil; and related plants sometimes called basil. Basil is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.

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basil

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

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

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

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basil

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)

Basil (Astrologer)

A Florentine astrologer of the fifteenth century.

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basil

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

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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