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[kost-mair-ee, kawst-] /ˈkɒstˌmɛər i, ˈkɔst-/
noun, plural costmaries.
a composite plant, Chrysanthemum balsamita, that has silvery, fragrant leaves and is used in salads and as a flavoring.
Also called mint geranium.
1325-75; Middle English costmarie, equivalent to cost (Old English cost costmary < Latin costum, costus a composite herb, Saussurea lappa < Greek kóstos) + Marie (the Virgin) Mary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for costmary


noun (pl) -maries
a herbaceous plant, Chrysanthemum balsamita, native to Asia. Its fragrant leaves were used as a seasoning and to flavour ale: family Asteraceae (composites) Also called alecost
Word Origin
C15 costmarie, from Latin costum aromatic plant + Marie (the Virgin) Mary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for costmary

((Tanacetum balsamita), aromatic herb of the aster family (Asteracae) with yellow, button-shaped flowers. Its bitter, slightly lemony leaves may be used fresh in salads and fresh or dried as a flavouring, particularly for meats, poultry, and English ale. The dried leaves are also used as a tea and in potpourri.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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