Definition of costmary in English:

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costmary

Pronunciation: /ˈkôstmerē/

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.
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.

Origin

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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cost·mar·y

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