noun (plural costmaries)
An aromatic plant of the daisy family, formerly used in medicine and for flavouring ale prior to the use of hops. Also called alecost.
- 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 Christ (with whom it was associated in medieval times because of its medicinal qualities).
Definition of costmary in:
- The US English dictionary