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[gahr-lik] /ˈgɑr lɪk/
a hardy plant, Allium sativum, of the amaryllis family whose strongly, pungent bulb is used in cookery and medicine.
any of various other plants of the genus Allium.
the bulb of such a plant, consisting of smaller bulbs, or cloves, used in cooking, sometimes in the form of a powder or flakes.
the flavor or smell of this bulb.
cooked, flavored, or seasoned with garlic:
garlic bread; garlic salt.
of or relating to garlic.
Origin of garlic
before 1000; Middle English garlec, Old English gārlēac (gar spear (cognate with German Ger) + lēac leek)
Related forms
garlicked, garlicky, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for garlic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is said that in India, where dyspepsia is common, garlic is found to be a great palliative.

    Storyology Benjamin Taylor
  • The whiff of garlic over my shoulder told me that Simonetti had followed me, too.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • When he came to the last tree he took the garlic and rubbed himself all over carefully, and the dholes yelled with scorn.

    The Second Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
  • A whiff of garlic told me that Simonetti had reached the table.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He was an insubordinate dog, and always smelt abominably of garlic.

British Dictionary definitions for garlic


a hardy widely cultivated Asian alliaceous plant, Allium sativum, having a stem bearing whitish flowers and bulbils
  1. the bulb of this plant, made up of small segments (cloves) that have a strong odour and pungent taste and are used in cooking
  2. (as modifier): a garlic taste
any of various other plants of the genus Allium
Word Origin
Old English gārlēac, from gār spear + lēacleek
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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Word Origin and History for garlic

Old English garleac (Mercian), garlec (W. Saxon) "garlic," from gar "spear" (in reference to the clove), see gar + leac "leek" (see leek).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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