Definition of claret in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈklerət/


1A red wine from Bordeaux, or wine of a similar character made elsewhere.
Example sentences
  • His cellar in Glasgow is still filled with clarets, Champagnes, white Burgundies and Gaja Barbarescos, most of them bought in London.
  • One wine writer of the old school refused to partner his great vintage clarets with smelly French cheeses, believing the pair to clash horribly.
  • True to form, the finished 2003 wines delivered record-breaking levels of tannin, sugar and alcohol; many châteaux have made clarets weighing in at 15 per cent-plus alcohol, as in Australia and California.
1.1A deep purplish-red color.
Example sentences
  • ‘They can wear rich, jewel-like colours such as claret, emerald or very, very deep creams,’ she advises.
  • Floral tributes - from a single white rose to huge bouquets of mixed blooms - left the memorial covered with a carpet of the club's colours of claret and amber as flowers, shirts and scarves were laid in memory of those who died.
  • Matthew's character Neville and Harry Potter are both in Gryffyndor house whose team colours are claret and amber.


Late Middle English (originally denoting a light red or yellowish wine, as distinct from a red or white): from Old French (vin) claret and medieval Latin claratum (vinum) 'clarified (wine)', from Latin clarus 'clear'.

  • The Old French term vin claret ‘clear wine’ was originally applied to a light red or yellowish wine, as distinct from either a red or white wine. Claret was used in English with this meaning until around 1600, when people started using the word to talk about red wines generally. Nowadays the term refers particularly to the red wines imported from Bordeaux. In books or films about London gangsters you might come across claret used as a slang term for ‘blood’. This goes back at least as far as 1604, and was originally boxing slang.

Words that rhyme with claret

carat, carrot, garret, karat, parrot

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clar·et

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