ETYM Old Eng. garlek, AS. gârleác; gar spear, lance + leác leek. Related to Gar, and Leek.
1. Aromatic bulb used as seasoning; SYN. ail.
2. Bulbous herb of southern Europe widely naturalized; bulb breaks up into separate strong-flavored cloves; SYN. Allium sativum.
Perennial plant Allium sativum of the lily family Liliaceae, with white flowers. The bulb, made of small segments, or cloves, is used in cooking. Garlic has been used effectively as a fungicide in sorghum. It also has antibacterial properties. In tests 1994 US doctors found freshly pressed garlic extract killed a number of bacteria, including drug-resistant strains, even when diluted to one part in 250. Its effectiveness is probably due to allicin, a simple organic disulfide.