from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An onionlike plant (Allium sativum) of southern Europe having a bulb that breaks up into separable cloves with a strong distinctive odor and flavor.
  • noun The bulb of this plant.
  • transitive verb To season or flavor (a food) with garlic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An onion-like bulbous plant, Allium sativum, allied to the leek, A. Porrum.
  • noun [Appar. a special use of garlic, 1, of some particular origin.] A jig or farce popular at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A plant of the genus Allium (A. sativum is the cultivated variety), having a bulbous root, a very strong smell, and an acrid, pungent taste. Each root is composed of several lesser bulbs, called cloves of garlic, inclosed in a common membranous coat, and easily separable.
  • noun obsolete A kind of jig or farce.
  • noun a European plant of the Mustard family (Alliaria officinalis) which has a strong smell of garlic.
  • noun a tree in Jamaica (Cratæva gynandra), bearing a fruit which has a strong scent of garlic, and a burning taste.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A plant, Allium sativum, related to the onion), having a pungent bulbous root much used in cooking.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun bulbous herb of southern Europe widely naturalized; bulb breaks up into separate strong-flavored cloves
  • noun aromatic bulb used as seasoning


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English gārlēac : gār, spear (probably in reference to the shape of a clove of garlic, resembling a spearhead, or to the shape of the leaves) + lēac, leek.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Old English gārlēac, from gār (“spear”, in reference to the cloves) + lēac ("leek").



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  • Interesting historical note/usage on theriac.

    December 2, 2016