Definition of herb noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//hɜːb//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrb//
    , NAmE//hɜːrb//
    Crops, Herbs and spices
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  1. 1a plant whose leaves, flowers or seeds are used to flavour food, in medicines or for their pleasant smell. Parsley, mint and oregano are all herbs. a herb garden (North American English) an herb garden See related entries: Crops, Herbs and spices
  2. 2(specialist) a plant with a soft stem that dies down after flowering More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin herba ‘grass, green crops, herb’. Although herb has always been spelled with an h, pronunciation without the h was usual until the 19th cent. and is still standard in the US.Extra examples Add a teaspoonful of mixed herbs. Ali recommends taking herbs to facilitate recovery. Serve cold, garnished with fresh herbs. The shop sells a large range of herbs and spices.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: herb