basil, n. [F. basilic, fr. L. basilicus royal, Gr. basiliko`s fr. basiley`s king.].
Basil thyme, a name given to the fragrant herbs Calamintha Acinos and Calamintha Nepeta. -- Wild basil, a plant (Calamintha clinopodium) of the Mint family.
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). [1913 Webster]
basil, n. [Corrupt. from E. basan, F. basane, LL. basanium, bazana, fr. Ar. bithāna, prop., lining.].