Definition of spikenard in English:


Pronunciation /ˈspīknärd/ /ˈspaɪknɑrd/


  • 1historical A costly perfumed ointment much valued in ancient times.

    • ‘Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.’
    • ‘Note the reference to spikenard in the Song of Solomon and in the Gospels.’
    • ‘A daily glass of konditon, strong in spikenard, was recommended in March: anise wine was appropriate for April.’
    • ‘In Mark's account the woman is unnamed, and she anointed Christ's head with the spikenard, rather than His feet as in the above account by John.’
    • ‘The scent of spikenard, not to be confused with American spikenard, a stimulant, is, surprisingly, sedative, since it increases serotonin availability.’
  • 2The Himalayan plant of the valerian family that produces the rhizome from which this ointment was prepared.

    Nardostachys grandiflora, family Valerianaceae

    1. 2.1A plant resembling spikenard in fragrance.


Middle English from medieval Latin spica nardi(see spike, nard), translating Greek nardostakhus.



/ˈspīknärd/ /ˈspaɪknɑrd/