1. A woody Eurasian plant (Hyssopus officinalis) in the mint family, having spikes of small blue or violet flowers and aromatic leaves used in perfumery, as a condiment, and formerly in medicine.
2. Any of several similar or related plants, such as some species in the genus Agastache.
3. An unidentified plant mentioned in the Bible as the source of twigs used for sprinkling in certain Hebraic purification rites.
[Middle English ysope, from Old English ȳsōpe, from Latin hȳsōpum, hyssōpus, from Greek hussōpos, probably of Semitic origin; akin to Aramaic 'ezobā.]
(click for a larger image)hyssop
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.