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bay leaf

noun
1.
the dried leaf of the laurel, used in cookery.
2.
the leaf of the bayberry, Pimenta racemosa, used in making bay oil and bay rum.
Origin
1630-1640
1630-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bay leaf
  • Add curry and tomato pastes, wine, bay leaf and lemon juice.
  • Commonly used spices that give corned beef its distinctive flavor are peppercorns and bay leaf.
  • With the point of a knife, make an incision into the flesh of each lemon half and stick a bay leaf into it.
  • The elaborate mantel in the n orth room or living room is topped by a mirror surrounded by a bay leaf garland.
British Dictionary definitions for bay leaf

bay leaf

noun
1.
a leaf, usually dried, of the Mediterranean laurel, Laurus nobilis, used in cooking to flavour soups and stews
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for bay leaf

leaf of the sweet bay tree, Laurus nobilis, an evergreen of the family Lauraceae, indigenous to countries bordering the Mediterranean. A popular spice used in pickling and marinating and to flavour stews, stuffings, and fish, bay leaves are delicately fragrant but have a bitter taste. They contain approximately 2 percent essential oil, the principal component of which is cineole. The smooth and lustrous dried bay leaves are usually used whole and then removed from the dish after cooking; they are sometimes marketed in powdered form. Bay has been cultivated from ancient times; its leaves constituted the wreaths of laurel that crowned victorious athletes in ancient Greece. During the European Middle Ages bay leaves were used medicinally.

Learn more about bay leaf with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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