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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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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

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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8
8
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