al·​li·​um | \ ˈa-lē-əm How to pronounce allium (audio) \

Definition of allium

: any of a large genus (Allium) of bulbous herbs of the lily family including the onion, garlic, chive, leek, and shallot

Examples of allium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The spread varies week by week, but the fare is always vegan and allium-free, with the exception of the yogurt, which the nuns make from cow’s milk and sell in plastic cups. Soleil Ho,, "Where do you find amazing vegan Vietnamese food in the Bay Area? Look for this Buddhist temple in East Palo Alto," 11 Oct. 2019 And when onion prices are high another problem emerges—organised gangs of allium thieves. The Economist, "Food is a fulcrum in Indian politics," 7 Dec. 2019 Savor it on its own, and then start swiping vinegary carrots and peppers and tiny, halved cucamelons through the tangy creaminess, which is riddled with sweet-sharp alliums, echoing the soft crunch of the dipping vegetables. Los Angeles Times, "Rustic Canyon’s Jeremy Fox opened Santa Monica’s hottest restaurant of the year," 3 Oct. 2019 Grab a skillet, your favorite spice, and your favorite allium. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, ""Infusing Oil" is a Fancy-Sounding Trick You Can Do Practically Any Time," 5 Sep. 2019 Ornamental flowers believed to be effective at deterring troublesome bugs include marigolds, alliums, chrysanthemums, petunias and geraniums. Washington Post, "Some common garden plants might help keep bugs away," 6 Aug. 2019 Chives and bowfin caviar bead the omelet’s sloping surface, adding balancing pops of salinity and allium heat to each luxurious forkful. Fortune, "Review: Patience Is a Virtue Well-Rewarded at this New Orleans Hotel Bar," 14 July 2019 Tidy boxwood hedging outlines the spring display and provides a framework for later waves of allium and lilies that bloom companionably among the roses, valerian, yarrow and other summer perennials in the small but striking space. Lorene Edwards Forkner, The Seattle Times, "Richard Hartlage composes kaleidoscopic landscapes of bulbs — for Chihuly Garden and Glass, and his home," 13 Apr. 2019 Parmesan rinds, miso, and alliums like garlic and onions are all great, but herb stems belong in that pot too. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "How to Use the Herb Stems You Definitely Shouldn't Be Throwing Away," 2 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of allium

1600, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for allium

borrowed from New Latin, genus name, going back to Latin ālium, allium "garlic," of uncertain origin

Note: Compared with Latin āla "wing," if the cloves of a garlic head are comparable to wings, though neither the derivational relationship nor the analogy are more than speculative.

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Time Traveler for allium

Time Traveler

The first known use of allium was in 1600

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Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allium.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for allium


al·​li·​um | \ ˈal-ē-əm How to pronounce allium (audio) \

Medical Definition of allium

1 capitalized : a genus of bulbous herbs (as an onion, garlic, or leek) of the lily family distinguished by a characteristic odor, sheathing, mostly basal leaves, and clusters of usually white, blue, purple, pink, or red flowers
2a : a plant of the genus Allium
b : the bulb of garlic formerly used in medicine especially as an expectorant and rubefacient

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allium

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