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1. Any of various sedges of the genus Cyperus, especially C. longus of Europe, having rough-edged leaves, reddish spikelets, and aromatic roots.
2. See galangal.

[Middle English, aromatic root of any of several kinds of plants, galangal; see galangal.]


(ˈɡælɪŋˌɡeɪl) or


(Plants) a European cyperaceous plant, Cyperus longus, with rough-edged leaves, reddish spikelets of flowers, and aromatic roots
[C13: from Old French galingal, from Arabic khalanjān, from Chinese kaoliang-chiang, from Kaoliang district in Guangdong province + chiang ginger]


(ˈgæl ɪnˌgeɪl, -ɪŋ-)

1. any of numerous sedges of the genus Cyperus, esp. C.langus, having aromatic roots.
[1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French galingal, garingal < Arabic khalanjān]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.galingale - European sedge having rough-edged leaves and spikelets of reddish flowers and aromatic rootsgalingale - European sedge having rough-edged leaves and spikelets of reddish flowers and aromatic roots
sedge - grasslike or rushlike plant growing in wet places having solid stems, narrow grasslike leaves and spikelets of inconspicuous flowers
Cyperus, genus Cyperus - type genus of Cyperaceae; grasslike rhizomatous herbs; cosmopolitan except very cold regions
References in classic literature ?
He awoke at last, drowsy and lazy, and casting his eyes about in every direction, observed, "There comes, if I don't mistake, from the quarter of that arcade a steam and a smell a great deal more like fried rashers than galingale or thyme; a wedding that begins with smells like that, by my faith, ought to be plentiful and unstinting.
Some of the core medicinal plants common across the Middle East include: aloe, anise, black seed (see side bar, next page), cardamom, chamomile, cherry, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cress, cumin, fennel/fenugreek, flax, frankincense (lubban), galingale, ginger, greek sage, henna, Indian frankincense, laurel, licorice, mastic, mint, mustard, nutmeg, olive, parsley, pepper, pimento, rosemary, saffron, senna, sumac, Syrian rue, turmeric and wormwood.
Before 1600 only 6 borrowings are documented: namely galingale, japan, li (1), litchi, typhoon and Tangut; in 17th century: 31 items, followed by 44 tokens between 1700-1800; the next century, 1800-1900, shows 112, while in the last century 152 loanwords are displayed from 1900 to 1992, which shows the last year when a Chinese etymon was registered for the first time in the OED.