/rohz"mair'ee, -meuh ree/, n., pl. rosemaries.
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.
[1400-50; late ME rose mary (by folk etym., influenced by ROSE1 and the name Mary) < L ros dew + marinus marine, or ros maris dew of the sea (in E the final -s mistaken for pl. sign)]

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Small perennial evergreen shrub (Rosmarinus officinalis) of the mint family whose leaves are used to flavour a wide variety of food.

The bush grows 3–7.5 ft (1–2.3 m) tall and has short linear leaves that resemble curved pine needles, dark green and shiny above, white beneath. Bluish flowers grow in small clusters. Bees are particularly fond of rosemary. In ancient times rosemary was believed to strengthen memory; in literature and folklore it is an emblem of remembrance and fidelity. Native to the Mediterranean, it has been naturalized throughout Europe and temperate America.

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      (Rosmarinus officinalis), small perennial evergreen shrub of the mint family (Laminaceae, or Labiatae) whose leaves are used to flavour foods. Rosemary leaves have a tealike fragrance and a pungent, slightly bitter taste. They are generally used sparingly, dried or fresh, to season foods, particularly lamb, duck, chicken, sausages, seafood, stuffings, stews, soups, potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, other vegetables, and beverages. Whole sprigs are removed before food is served because of their powerful taste.

      In ancient times rosemary was believed to strengthen the memory; in literature and folklore it is an emblem of remembrance and fidelity. Rosemary is slightly stimulating; in traditional medicine it was a popular aromatic constituent of tonics and liniments. Today, its fragrant oil is an ingredient in numerous toiletry products and in vermouth. Native to the Mediterranean region, it has been naturalized throughout Europe and temperate America and is widely grown in gardens in the warmer parts of the U.S. and in Great Britain, where an old garden legend reads “where rosemary thrives the mistress is master.”

      The rosemary bush has a main stem usually around 3 feet (1 metre) but sometimes up to 7 ft tall, and linear leaves about 0.4 inch (1 centimetre) long resembling curved pine needles, dark green and shiny above, white beneath, and with margins rolled back onto the under face. The flowers are bluish, in small axillary clusters. Bees are particularly fond of rosemary.

      The essential oil content is from 0.3 to 2 percent, and it is obtained by distillation. Its principal component is borneol.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rosemary — Rose ma*ry, n. [OE. rosmarine, L. rosmarinus; ros dew (cf. Russ. rosa, Lith. rasa, Skr. rasa juice) + marinus marine: cf. F. romarin. In English the word has been changed as if it meant the rose of Mary. See {Marine}.] A labiate shrub… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Rosemary — [rōz΄mə rē′rōz′mer΄ē, rōz′mə rē] n. [see ROSEMARY] a feminine name: var. Rosemarie [rōz΄mə rē′] …   English World dictionary

  • Rosemary — f English: a 19th century coinage, from the name of the herb (which is from Latin ros marīnus sea dew). It is often also assumed to be a combination of the names ROSE (SEE Rose) and MARY (SEE Mary). Cognate: German, Scandinavian: Rosemarie. Pet… …   First names dictionary

  • rosemary — (n.) mid 15c., earlier rosmarine (c.1300), from L. rosmarinus, lit. dew of the sea (Cf. Fr. romarin), from ros dew + marinus (see MARINE (Cf. marine)). Perhaps so called because it grew near coasts. Form altered in English by influence of rose… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rosemary — ► NOUN ▪ an evergreen aromatic shrub of southern Europe, the leaves of which are used as a herb in cooking. ORIGIN from Latin ros marinus, from ros dew + marinus of the sea …   English terms dictionary

  • rosemary — [rōz′mer΄ē] n. [altered (after ROSE1 & MARY1) < earlier rosmarine < L ros marinus (also ros maris), lit., dew of the sea < ros, dew (< IE * rosā < * eres, to flow: see RACE1) + marinus,MARINE] an evergreen herb (Rosmarinus… …   English World dictionary

  • Rosemary — For other uses, see Rosemary (disambiguation). Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary Rosemary in flower Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Rosemary — Rosemarie ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens 2 Namenstag 3 Bekannte Namensträgerinnen 4 Varianten // …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rosemary —    According to traditional lore, rosemary is a versatile little plant, and in general its uses are positive. Lines in A Nosegaie Alwaies Sweet, for Lovers to Send for Tokens of Love ... (c.1582), provide the famous definition of rosemary for… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

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