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rosemary

[rohz-mair-ee, -muh-ree]
noun, plural rose·mar·ies.
  1. an evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, of the mint family, native to the Mediterranean region, having leathery, narrow leaves and pale-blue, bell-shaped flowers, used as a seasoning and in perfumery and medicine: a traditional symbol of remembrance.
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Origin of rosemary

1400–50; late Middle English rose mary (by folk etymology, influenced by rose1 and the name Mary) < Latin rōs dew + marīnus marine, or rōs maris dew of the sea (in E the final -s mistaken for plural sign)

Rosemary

[rohz-mair-ee, -muh-ree]
noun
  1. a female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rosemary

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In the South of Europe the rosemary has long had magic properties ascribed to it.

    Storyology

    Benjamin Taylor

  • It is as an emblem of remembrance that rosemary is most frequently used by the old poets.

    Storyology

    Benjamin Taylor

  • As a love-charm the reputation of rosemary seems to have come from the South.

    Storyology

    Benjamin Taylor

  • For love-potions, decoctions of rosemary were much employed.

    Storyology

    Benjamin Taylor

  • What Ophelia said was: 'There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.

    Storyology

    Benjamin Taylor


British Dictionary definitions for rosemary

rosemary

noun plural -maries
  1. an aromatic European shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, widely cultivated for its grey-green evergreen leaves, which are used in cookery for flavouring and yield a fragrant oil used in the manufacture of perfumes: family Lamiaceae (labiates). It is the traditional flower of remembrance
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Word Origin

C15: earlier rosmarine, from Latin rōs dew + marīnus marine; modern form influenced by folk etymology, as if rose 1 + Mary
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

Word Origin and History for rosemary

n.

late 14c., earlier rosmarine (c.1300), from Latin rosmarinus, literally "dew of the sea" (cf. French romarin), from ros "dew" + marinus (see marine (adj.)). Perhaps so called because it grew near coasts. Form altered in English by influence of rose and Mary.

Latin ros is from PIE *ers- "to be wet" (cf. Lithuanian rasa, Old Church Slavonic rosa "dew," Sanskrit rasah "sap, juice, fluid, essence," Hittite arszi "flows," and perhaps also Rha, Scythian name of the River Volga (see rhubarb)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper