• WordNet 3.6
    • n spikenard an aromatic ointment used in antiquity
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Spikenard A fragrant essential oil, as that from the Nardostachys Jatamansi.
    • Spikenard (Bot) An aromatic plant. In the United States it is the Aralia racemosa, often called spignet, and used as a medicine. The spikenard of the ancients is the Nardostachys Jatamansi, a native of the Himalayan region. From its blackish roots a perfume for the hair is still prepared in India.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spikenard A plant, the source of a famous perfumed unguent of the ancients, now believed to be Nardostachys Jatamansi, closely allied to valerian, found in the Himalayan region. This plant is known to have been used by the Hindus as a medicine and perfume from a very remote period, and is at present employed chiefly in hair-washes and ointments. The odor is heavy and peculiar, described as resembling that of a mixture of vale rian and patchouli. The market drug consists of short pieces of the rootstock densely covered with libers, the remains of leafstalks. Also nard.
    • n spikenard An aromatic ointment of ancient times, in which spikenard was the characteristic ingredient; nard. It was extremely costly.
    • n spikenard A name given to various fragrant essential oils.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spikenard spīk′närd an aromatic oil or balsam yielded by an Indian plant, the Nardus, closely allied to valerian: the plant itself.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
For spiked nard,; cf. G. spieknarde, NL. spica nardi,. See Spike an ear, and Nard
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. spica nardi.


In literature:

A flock of juncos will strip the fruit from every spikenard in the neighborhood the first day it arrives from the North.
"Wild Flowers Worth Knowing" by Neltje Blanchan
Spikenard, another Indian commodity, also reached Rome, through Arabia, by means of the port of Alexandria.
"Robert Kerr's General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 18" by William Stevenson
I will smear your body with myrrh and pour spikenard on your hair.
"Miscellanies" by Oscar Wilde
Some of them are interpreted in other senses, as spikenard, cassia, and cinnamon.
"The Cathedral" by Joris-Karl Huysmans
I noticed growing here a spikenard-looking shrub, six feet high, and a foot in diameter.
"The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868" by David Livingstone
Matthew says she had "an alabaster cruse of precious ointment," which Mark explains was "spikenard very costly.
"A Life of St. John for the Young" by George Ludington Weed
Out of the dewy soil welled up the fresh clean breath of magic spikenard, very precious.
"Berry And Co." by Dornford Yates
It belongs to the same family as spikenard and ginseng.
"The Wonder Island Boys: Treasures of the Island" by Roger Thompson Finlay
How can I choose but kiss her, whence does come The storax, spikenard, myrrh, and laudanum?
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
Mary anoints Jesus with spikenard, 512.
"Jesus the Christ" by James Edward Talmage
John had been inhuman if this knowledge had not been as spikenard to him.
"The Hill" by Horace Annesley Vachell
Wild spikenard, with its crown of tiny white flowers, also reproduced beautifully in the blue-print.
"Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy
Spikenard Root, one lb.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
With her all, she knelt at His feet, and kneeling there she broke her box of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and poured it out.
"The Girls of St. Olave's" by Mabel Mackintosh
"Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome" by Apicius
Heart's Love, sweet with spikenard, waits near the door, so eager to pass the threshold, where stands Regret!
"The Master's Violin" by Myrtle Reed
About two weeks after Edward Hamlin's death, unexpected balm, very precious spikenard, was poured upon Mrs. Yellam's lacerated feelings.
"The Soul of Susan Yellam" by Horace Annesley Vachell
Her love was like spikenard, perfuming the house.
"Revisiting the Earth" by James Langdon Hill
Spikenard in that to lay upon an old wound.
"The Claw" by Cynthia Stockley
Or spikenard in this rude disguise, Or other costly merchandise?
"The Optimist's Good Morning" by Florence Hobart Perin

In poetry:

Thou, Mary, too, thy hair didst spread
To wipe the anointed feet;
Nor didst thou only bless his head
With precious spikenard sweet.
"The Woman That Was A Sinner" by George MacDonald
That spikenard, which 'twas wholly meet
Mary should pour upon his head,
Has filled with fragrance rare and sweet
Succeeding ages as they've fled.
"Ministering Women" by Nancy Rebecca Campbell Glass
All Orient odors, spikenard, balm and myrrh,
Perfumes of Araby and farthest Ind--
Sweet incense from the chaliced heart of her
She pours upon the feet of every wind.
"Flower-Fancies" by Leigh Gordon Giltner
At dawn to his dim sepulchre,
Mary, remembering that far day,
When at his feet the spikenard lay,
Came, bringing balm and spice and myrrh;
To her the grave had made reply:
"He is not here—He cannot die."
"An Easter Hymn" by Richard Le Gallienne
Another landscape at my feet
Unfolds its nearer grace the while,
Where gorses gleam with golden smile;
Where Inula lifts a russet head
The shepherd's spikenard sweet;
And closing Centaury points her rosy red.
"A Dorset Idyl" by Francis Turner Palgrave
The third king gave his gift, and quoth:
"Spikenard and myrrh to Thee I bring,
And with these twain would I most fain
Anoint the body of my King;
So may their incense sometime rise
To plead for me in yonder skies!"
"The Three Kings Of Cologne" by Eugene Field