n 1 a : the pungent fragrant aromatic reddish brown dried flower bud of a tropical evergreen tree (Syzygium aromaticum) of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) that yields clove oil b : a spice consisting of whole or ground cloves - usu. used in pl. 2 : the tree that is the source of cloves and is probably native to the Moluccas but is now widely cultivated in the tropics .
Similar sounding terms: calf cal·va cla·va clavi
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