• The lacy covering (aril) that surrounds the stone (nutmeg) in the apricot-like fruit of an evergreen tree, Myristica fragrans, originally from the Moluccas but now grown extensively in maritime tropical areas. It has a slightly bitter aromatic flavour and is widely used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Sold as blades (whole mace), chips or powder.


  • noun a large ornamental stick, made of gold or silver, which is ceremonially placed on the table in the House of Commons or house of Lords, or in some local council chambers to show that business can begin