noun (plural costmaries)
- Balsamita major, family Compositae.
- 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).
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