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or gilliflower

[jil-ee-flou-er] /ˈdʒɪl iˌflaʊ ər/
Archaic. any of several fragrant flowers of the genus Dianthus, as the carnation or clove pink.
any of various other usually fragrant flowers, especially a stock, Matthiola incana, of the mustard family.
Origin of gillyflower
1300-50; alteration (by association with flower) of Middle English gilofre, geraflour < Old French gilofre, girofle < Latin caryophyllum < Greek karyóphyllon clove (káryo(n) nut + phýllon leaf) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for gillyflower


any of several plants having fragrant flowers, such as the stock and wallflower
an archaic name for carnation
Word Origin
C14: changed (through influence of flower) from gilofre, from Old French girofle, from Medieval Latin, from Greek karuophullon clove tree, from karuon nut + phullon leaf
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 gillyflower

1550s, folk etymology spelling (by association of flower) of gilofre, originally "clove," c.1300, from Old French girofle "clove," ultimately from Greek karyophyllon "clove, nut leaf, dried flower bud of clove tree," from karyon "nut" (see karyo-) + phyllon "leaf" (see folio). The flower so named for its scent, so called from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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