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Myrrhis odorata
myrsine family
Myrsiphyllum asparagoides
myrtaceous tree
Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Myrtle Beach
myrtle beech
myrtle bird
myrtle family
myrtle flag
myrtle oak
myrtle spurge
myrtle warbler
Myrtle wax
Myrtus communis
Mys Dezhneva

Myrtle definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

MYR'TLE, n. [L. myrtus.] A plant of the genus Myrtus, of several species. The common myrtle rises with a shrubby upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close full head, closely garnished with oval lanceolate leaves. It has numerous small, pale flowers from the axillas, singly on each footstalk.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: widely cultivated as a groundcover for its dark green shiny leaves and usually blue-violet flowers [syn: myrtle, Vinca minor]
2: any evergreen shrub or tree of the genus Myrtus

Merriam Webster's

noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English mirtille, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, from Latin myrtus, from Greek myrtos Date: 1562 1. a. a common evergreen bushy shrub (Myrtus communis of the family Myrtaceae, the myrtle family) of southern Europe with oval to lance-shaped shiny leaves, fragrant white or rosy flowers, and black berries b. any of the chiefly tropical shrubs or trees comprising the myrtle family 2. a. periwinkle I,1a b. California laurel

Britannica Concise

Any of the evergreen shrubs in the genus Myrtus (family Myrtaceae). Authorities differ widely over the number of species included; most occur in S. America, while some are found in Australia and New Zealand. Common myrtle (M. communis) is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East and is cultivated in S England and the warmer portions of N. America. Other plants known as myrtle include the mountain laurel and periwinkle. The family Myrtaceae, commonly called the myrtle family, includes the plants that produce the spices allspice and cloves, and the genus Eucalyptus. See also crape myrtle.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 an evergreen shrub of the genus Myrtus with aromatic foliage and white flowers, esp. M. communis, bearing purple-black ovoid berries. 2 US = PERIWINKLE(1). Etymology: ME f. med.L myrtilla, -us dimin. of L myrta, myrtus f. Gk murtos

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Myrtle Myr"tle (m[~e]r"t'l), n. [F. myrtil bilberry, prop., a little myrtle, from myrte myrtle, L. myrtus, murtus, Gr. my`rtos; cf. Per. m[=u]rd.] (Bot.) 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. Note: The name is also popularly but wrongly applied in America to two creeping plants, the blue-flowered periwinkle and the yellow-flowered moneywort. In the West Indies several myrtaceous shrubs are called myrtle. Bog myrtle, the sweet gale. Crape myrtle. See under Crape. Myrtle warbler (Zo["o]l.), a North American wood warbler (Dendroica coronata); -- called also myrtle bird, yellow-rumped warbler, and yellow-crowned warbler. Myrtle wax. (Bot.) See Bayberry tallow, under Bayberry. Sand myrtle, a low, branching evergreen shrub (Leiophyllum buxifolium), growing in New Jersey and southward. Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera). See Bayberry.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Periwinkle Per"i*win`kle, n. [OE. pervenke, AS. pervince, fr. L. pervinca.] (Bot.) A trailing herb of the genus Vinca. Note: The common perwinkle (Vinca minor) has opposite evergreen leaves and solitary blue or white flowers in their axils. In America it is often miscalled myrtle. See under Myrtle.

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the East by the name _as_, the Myrtus communis of the botanist. "Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives), excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor, and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Palestine" (Tristram).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

mur'-t'-l (hadhac; mursine (Isa 41:19; 55:13; Ne 8:15; Zec 1:8,10 f); also as a name in Hadassah in Es 2:7, the Jewish form of ESTHER (which see)): The myrtle, Myrtus communis (Natural Order Myrtaceae), is a very common indigenous shrub all over Palestine. On the bare hillsides it is a low bush, but under favorable conditions of moisture it attains a considerable height (compare Zec 1:8,10). It has dark green, scented leaves, delicate starry white flowers and dark-colored berries, which are eaten. In ancient times it was sacred to Astarte. It is mentioned as one of the choice plants of the land (Isa 41:19). "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree" (Isa 55:13), is one of the prophetic pictures of God's promised blessings. It was one of the trees used in the Feast of Tabernacles (Ne 8:15): "the branches of thick trees" (which see) are interpreted in the Talmud (Cuk. 3 4; Yer Cuk. 3, 53rd) as myrtle boughs; also (id) the "thick trees" of Ne 8:15 as "wild myrtle." Myrtle twigs, particularly those of the broadleaved variety, together with a palm branch and twigs of willow, are still used in the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles. For many references to myrtle in Jewish writings see Jewish Encyclopedia, IX, 137.

E. W. G. Masterman


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