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clove

clove, name for a small evergreen tree (Syzygium aromaticum or Eugenia caryophyllata) of the family Myrtaceae (myrtle family) and for its unopened flower bud, an important spice. The buds, whose folded petals are enclosed in four toothlike lobes of the calyx, are gathered by hand, dried, and marketed either whole or ground for culinary purposes. Clove oil, obtained by distillation, is widely used in synthetic vanilla and other flavorings as well as in perfumes; it is often considered medicinal and antiseptic. The spicy fragrance of cloves was used by the Chinese (c.3d cent. BC) and by the Romans, but the first instance of finding the tree growing wild was recorded by the Portuguese when they discovered the Spice Islands. The Portuguese and then the Dutch held the clove trade in monopoly, eliminating the tree from all but a single island, until the late 18th cent. Today cloves are products also of other tropical areas, e.g., the West Indies and islands off E Africa such as Madagascar and Zanzibar. Clove is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Myrtales, family Myrtaceae.

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clove

clove1 / klōv/ • n. 1. the dried flower bud of a tropical tree, used as a pungent aromatic spice. ∎  (oil of cloves) aromatic analgesic oil extracted from these buds and used medicinally, esp. for dental pain. 2. the Indonesian tree (Syzygium aromaticum, or Eugenia caryophyllus) of the myrtle family from which these buds are obtained. 3. (also clove pink) a clove-scented pink (Dianthus caryophyllus) that is the original type from which the carnation and other double pinks have been bred. clove2 • n. any of the small bulbs making up a compound bulb of garlic, shallot, etc. clove3 • past of cleave1 .

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clove

clove 2 dried flower-bud of tropical myrtle. XIV. orig. clow (of) gilofer — (O)F. clou de girofle (gilofre) ‘nail of clove-tree’, so called from its shape; see GILLYFLOWER. The change from clow to clove is difficult to account for.

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clove

clove Tall, aromatic, evergreen tree native to the Moluccan Islands. The small purple flowers appear in clusters; the dried flower buds are widely used in cookery. Height: to 12m (40ft). Family Myrtaceae; species Syzygium aromaticum.

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clove

clove 1 one of the divisions of the bulb of garlic, etc. OE. clufu, corr. to the first element of OS. cluflōk ‘clove-leek’, garlic, OHG. klobolouch (G. knoblauch), f. weak grade of Gmc. *kleub- (see CLEAVE 1).

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clove

clove The dried aromatic flower buds of Caryophyllus aromaticus; mother of clove is the ripened fruit, which is inferior in flavour. Used as a flavour in meat products and baked goods.

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clove

clove A spice consisting of the young flower-bud of Eugenia caryophyllus, native to the Moluccas, and now produced mainly in Zanzibar.

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clove

clovebehove, clove, cove, dove, drove, fauve, grove, interwove, Jove, mauve, rove, shrove, stove, strove, trove, wove •alcove • mangrove

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