\ \ There are two distinct words clove in English. In clove of garlic [OE] the underlying notion is of ‘cutting’; the head of garlic is as it were ‘divided up’ into separate sections. The word goes back ultimately to the Indo-European base *gleubh- ‘cut, carve’, which also produced English cleave and its now archaic past tense clove. Clove the spice [14] originated in the Old French phrase clou de girofle, which meant literally ‘nail of the clove-tree’. The term ‘nail’ was applied to the tree’s dried unopened flower bud because of a perceived resemblance in shape. (French clounail’ comes from Latin clāvus, source of English cloy, and French girofle – whence English gillyflower [14], which originally meant ‘clove’ – goes back via medieval Latin caryophyllum to Greek karuóphullon, which literally meant ‘nut leaf’.)

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clove — Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Angiosperms …   Wikipedia

  • Clove — Clove, n. [OE. clow, fr. F. clou nail, clou de girofle a clove, lit. nail of clove, fr. L. clavus nail, perh. akin to clavis key, E. clavicle. The clove was so called from its resemblance to a nail. So in D. kruidnagel clove, lit. herb nail or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clove — Ⅰ. clove [1] ► NOUN 1) the dried flower bud of a tropical tree, used as a pungent aromatic spice. 2) (oil of cloves) an aromatic oil extracted from these buds and used for the relief of dental pain. 3) (also clove pink or clove gillyflower) a… …   English terms dictionary

  • Clove — Clove, imp. of {Cleave}. Cleft. Spenser. [1913 Webster] {Clove hitch} (Naut.) See under {Hitch}. {Clove hook} (Naut.), an iron two part hook, with jaws overlapping, used in bending chain sheets to the clews of sails; called also {clip hook}.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clove — Clove, n. [D. kloof. See {Cleave}, v. t.] A cleft; a gap; a ravine; rarely used except as part of a proper name; as, Kaaterskill Clove; Stone Clove. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clove — Clove, n. [AS. clufe an ear of corn, a clove of garlic; cf. cle[ o]fan to split, E. cleave.] 1. (Bot.) One of the small bulbs developed in the axils of the scales of a large bulb, as in the case of garlic. [1913 Webster] Developing, in the axils… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clove — klōv n 1 a) the pungent fragrant aromatic reddish brown dried flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree (Syzygium aromaticum) of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) that yields clove oil b) a spice consisting of whole or ground cloves usu. used in pl. 2) …   Medical dictionary

  • clove — clove; clove·root; …   English syllables

  • clove — clove1 [klōv] n. [ME clowe < OFr clou (de girofle), lit., nail (of clove) < L clavus, nail (see CLOSE2); so called from its shape] 1. the dried flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree (Eugenia aromatica) of the myrtle family, originally… …   English World dictionary

  • Clove — (spr. Klohw), 1) Wollgewicht in England, = 7 Pfd. Zollgewicht; 2) in Essex Gewicht für Butter u. Käse, = 8 Pfd. Zollgewicht …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Clove — (spr. klow ), Wollgewicht in England zu 7 Pfund Avdp., = 3,175 kg; auch Butter oder Käsegewicht für Essex, = 3,628 kg …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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