Basil \b(a)-sil\ as a boy's name is pronounced BAZ-el. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Basil is "royal, kingly". From the Greek name Basileios, derived from "basileus", meaning "king". Saint Basil (fourth century) of Caesarea was called "the Great" and regarded as one of the Fathers of the Eastern Church. Also the name of several early saints martyred in the East. Brought to England by the Crusaders, having been common in the eastern Mediterranean. More often used in Britain and Europe than in America. Also the name of a common herb. In Arabic, the name means "brave". British actor Basil Rathbone played Sherlock Holmes in 14 films in the 1940s. Basile is French; Basilius is German; Basilio is Italian and Spanish.
Basil has 23 variant forms: Basile, Basilic, Basilides, Basileios, Basilie, Basilio, Basilius, Bazeel, Bazeelius, Bazil, Bazyli, Vasile, Vasileos, Vasili, Vasilije, Vasilios, Vasilis, Vasilius, Vasilus, Vasily, Vassilij, Vassily and Wassily.