- an aromatic herb, Origanum vulgare, of the mint family, having leaves used as seasoning in cooking.
- a Mediterranean variety of wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare), with pungent leaves
- the dried powdered leaves of this plant, used to season food
n.1771, from Spanish or American Spanish oregano, from Latin origanus, origanum, from Greek oreiganon, from oros “mountain” (see oread) + ganos “brightness, ornament.” The older form of the word in English was the Latin-derived origanum (mid-13c.), also origan (early 15c.). In Europe, the dried leaves of wild marjoram; in America, a different, and more pungent, shrub.