clove

clove1
/klohv/, n.
1. the dried flower bud of a tropical tree, Syzygium aromaticum, of the myrtle family, used whole or ground as a spice.
2. the tree itself.
[1175-1225; ME clow(e), short for clow-gilofre < OF clou de gilofre. See CLOU, GILLYFLOWER]
clove2
/klohv/, n. Bot.
one of the small bulbs formed in the axils of the scales of a mother bulb, as in garlic.
[bef. 1000; ME; OE clufu bulb (c. MD clove, D kloof); akin to CLEAVE2]
clove3
/klohv/, v.
a pt. of cleave2.
clove4
/klohv/, n.
a British unit of weight for wool, cheese, etc., usually equivalent to 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).
[1300-50; ME claue < AF clove, earlier clou, equiv. to AL clavus, L: nail; see CLOVE1]

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Small, reddish brown flower bud of the tropical evergreen tree Syzygium aromaticum (sometimes called Eugenia caryophyllata), of the myrtle family.

The tree is believed to be native to the Moluccas of Indonesia. Cloves were important in the earliest spice trade. With a strong aroma and hot and pungent taste, they are used to flavour many foods. Clove oil is sometimes used as a local anesthetic for toothaches. Eugenol, its principal ingredient, is used in germicides, perfumes, and mouthwashes, in the synthesis of vanillin, and as a sweetener or flavour intensifier.

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plant
 small, reddish-brown flower bud of the tropical evergreen tree Syzygium aromaticum (clove tree) (sometimes Eugenia caryophyllata) of the family Myrtaceae, important in the earliest spice (spice and herb) trade and believed indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia. Strong of aroma and hot and pungent in taste, cloves are used to flavour many foods, particularly meats and bakery products; in Europe and the United States the spice is a characteristic flavouring in Christmas holiday fare, such as wassail and mincemeat.

      As early as 200 BC, envoys from Java to the Han-dynasty court of China brought cloves that were customarily held in the mouth to perfume the breath during audiences with the emperor. During the late Middle Ages, cloves were used in Europe to preserve, flavour, and garnish food. Clove cultivation was almost entirely confined to Indonesia, and in the early 17th century the Dutch eradicated cloves on all islands except Amboina and Ternate in order to create scarcity and sustain high prices. In the latter half of the 18th century the French smuggled cloves from the East Indies to Indian Ocean islands and the New World, breaking the Dutch monopoly.

      The clove tree is an evergeen that grows to about 25 to 40 feet (8 to 12 m) in height. Its gland-dotted leaves are small, simple, and opposite. The trees are usually propagated from seeds that are planted in shaded areas. Flowering begins about the fifth year; a tree may annually yield up to 75 pounds (34 kg) of dried buds. The buds are hand-picked in late summer and again in winter and are then sun-dried. The island of Zanzibar, which is part of Tanzania, is the world's largest producer of cloves. Madagascar and Indonesia are smaller producers.

      Cloves vary in length from about 1/2 to 3/4 inch (13 to 19 mm). They contain 14 to 20 percent essential oil, the principal component of which is the aromatic oil eugenol. Cloves are strongly pungent owing to eugenol, which is extracted by distillation to yield oil of cloves. This oil is used to prepare microscopic slides for viewing and is also a local anesthetic for toothaches. Eugenol is used in germicides, perfumes, and mouthwashes, in the synthesis of vanillin, and as a sweetener or intensifier.

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Universalium. 2010.

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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