n. pl. clar·ies
A stout aromatic Mediterranean herb (Salvia sclarea) in the mint family, having showy violet, pink, or white flower clusters and yielding an essential oil used as a flavoring and in perfumery. Also called clary sage.
[Middle English clarye, from alteration (perhaps with loss of initial s- by association with Latin clārus, clear; compare Italian chiarella, clary, from alteration of Medieval Latin sclarea, clary, by association with Italian chiaro, clear, in reference to its medicinal uses, as in treating the eyes) of Anglo-French sclarie, sclaree, clary, from Medieval Latin sclareia, sclarea, from alteration of Latin hastula rēgia, asphodel (clary possibly being so called from the resemblance of its floral spikes to those of asphodel) : hastula, little spear, asphodel, diminutive of hasta, spear + rēgia, feminine of rēgius, royal (from rēx, rēg-, king; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
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