General English


  • noun a plant (Allium sativum) with a strong-smelling pungent root used as a flavouring in cooking. The bulb consists of a series of wedge-shaped cloves, surrounded by a white fibrous skin.


  • The cluster of small bulbs that grow at the base of a plant, Allium sativum, after the first season of growth. Each segment or ‘bulblet’ is called a clove and the whole cluster is called a ‘head’ of garlic. Each clove gives rise to a new head after one season. The clove consists of a white pungent, peppery flesh in a relatively tough skin. This is easily removed by squashing the clove. When raw, the smell and taste are very strong and a cut clove run around a bowl will flavour anything contained within it. When cooked it loses most of its pungency. Very widely used in cookery throughout the world. It has been considered as an aid to good health since antiquity and is now thought to have anti-cancer properties.


  • noun a plant whose bulb has a strong smell and taste, used as a flavouring