Definitions

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

  • noun Any of several plants having fragrant flowers, especially the carnation, stock, or wallflower.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The clove-pink or carnation, Dianthus Caryophyllus, especially one of the smaller varieties.
  • noun The Cheiranthus Cheiri. This is the plant which now usually bears the name, distinguished as the wall-gillyflower. See Cheiranthus.
  • noun The wallflower, Matthiola incana, distinguished as the stock-gillyflower, but more frequently known as the stock.
  • noun A name of several other plants, as the cuckoo- or marsh-gillyflower, Lychnis Flos-cuculi; the feathered gillyflower, Dianthus plumarius; the queen′ s, rogue′ s, or winter gillyflower, Hesperis matronalis; the sea-gillyflower, Armeria vulgaris; and the water-gillyflower, Hottonia palustris.
  • noun The gillyflower-apple.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A name given by old writers to the clove pink (Dianthus Caryophyllus) but now to the common stock (Matthiola incana), a cruciferous plant with showy and fragrant blossoms, usually purplish, but often pink or white.
  • noun A kind of apple, of a roundish conical shape, purplish red color, and having a large core.
  • noun the clove pink.
  • noun the ragged robin (Lychnis Flos-cuculi).
  • noun damewort.
  • noun the thrift (Armeria vulgaris).
  • noun the wallflower (Cheiranthus Cheiri).
  • noun the water violet.

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

  • noun clove pink
  • noun Any clove-scented flower.
  • noun A variety of apple.
  • noun heraldry A stylized representation of a carnation blossom, usually red, and shown with or without a slip and leaves.

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

  • noun any of several Old World plants cultivated for their brightly colored flowers
  • noun Eurasian plant with pink to purple-red spice-scented usually double flowers; widely cultivated in many varieties and many colors

Etymologies

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

[Alteration (influenced by flower) of Middle English gilofre, from Old French gilofre, girofle, clove, from Late Latin gariofilum, from Greek karuophullon : karuon, nut; see kar- in Indo-European roots + phullon, leaf; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

By folk etymology, with influence from flower, from French girofle, gilofre, from Late Latin caryophyllum, from Ancient Greek καρυοφυλλον (karyophyllon, "dried flower buds of the clove tree").

Examples

  • Add lesser quantities (the recipe says a denier) of the following spices: galingale, cloves (no more than 1/2 teaspoon, I suggest), gillyflower (if you can get it, which I have never succeeded in doing), long pepper (Asian groceries have this, sometimes), nutmeg, cardamon, mace.

    Even in a little thing

  • “Not of course at all!” replied Francie, who used a particularly expensive essence of gillyflower herself.

    In Chancery

  • He knew gillyflower tea from the Temple, where it occasionally appeared with the morning bread, and it did seem to wake him up when he felt a little foggy or sleepy.

    Take A Thief

  • He knew gillyflower tea from the Temple, where it occasionally appeared with the morning bread, and it did seem to wake him up when he felt a little foggy or sleepy.

    Take A Thief

  • Only a few flowers of autumn were visible, such as the fleabane and red gillyflower, autumn colchicums in the ravine, and under the beeches bracken and tufts of northern heather.

    Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12)

  • A very pretty picture was she, reader. -- with such a face as you sometimes see painted in those wayside shrines of sunny Italy, where the lamp burns pale at evening, and gillyflower and cyclamen are renewed with every morning.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 07, No. 43, May, 1861 Creator

  • “Well, a booky as big almost as a hay-stack; I have put up two bottles of the gillyflower-water for Mrs. Sedley, and the receipt for making it, in Amelia’s box.

    I. Chiswick Mall

  • "Not of course at all!" replied Francie, who used a particularly expensive essence of gillyflower herself.

    Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works

  • "Not of course at all!" replied Francie, who used a particularly expensive essence of gillyflower herself.

    The Forsyte Saga, Volume II. Indian Summer of a Forsyte In Chancery

  • "Not of course at all!" replied Francie, who used a particularly expensive essence of gillyflower herself.

    The Forsyte Saga - Complete

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