Definition of costmary in English:


Syllabification: cost·mar·y
Pronunciation: /ˈkôstˌme(ə)rē, ˈkäst-

noun (plural costmaries)

An aromatic plant of the daisy family, formerly used in medicine and for flavoring ale prior to the use of hops.
  • Balsamita major, family Compositae
More example sentences
  • The costmary plant is a tall and erect perennial chrysanthemum, of minor importance as a condiment.
  • Perfumed toilet water was once made from costmary leaves and they added a spicy flavor to ale.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind the spikenard, peppercorns, costmary and cloves together.


late Middle English: from obsolete cost (via Latin from Greek kostos, via Arabic from Sanskrit kuṣṭha, denoting an aromatic plant) + Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ (with whom it was associated in medieval times because of its medicinal qualities).

Definition of costmary in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day oleaginous
Pronunciation: ˌəʊlɪˈadʒɪnəs
rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily