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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. A kind of jig or farce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


Middle English, from Old English gārlēac : gār, spear + lēac, leek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Old English gārlēac, from gār (“spear”, in reference to the cloves) + lēac ("leek"). (Wiktionary)



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