(Science: botany) 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 (O. Minimum), the leaves of which are used in cookery. The name is also given to several kinds of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum). Basil thyme, a name given to the fragrant herbs Calamintha Acinos and c. Nepeta. Wild basil, a plant (Calamintha clinopodium) of the mint family.