Definition of claret in English:



mass noun
  • 1A red wine from Bordeaux, or wine of a similar character made elsewhere.

    ‘a passable bottle of claret’
    count noun ‘the prices of 1990 clarets’
    • ‘True to form, the finished 2003 wines delivered record-breaking levels of tannin, sugar and alcohol; many châteaux have made clarets weighing in at 15 per cent-plus alcohol, as in Australia and California.’
    • ‘I've tasted many clarets of this level of quality with both venison and pheasant, and in every case it has proved an enjoyable accompaniment.’
    • ‘The quality of its wines can vary from light, fruity, serviceable clarets to the finest first growths capable of ageing for a century or more.’
    • ‘One wine writer of the old school refused to partner his great vintage clarets with smelly French cheeses, believing the pair to clash horribly.’
    • ‘Only the rich had access to the very finest clarets of Bordeaux.’
    • ‘Consequently too many of the 2002 clarets I tasted had unpleasant bitter green tannins, hollow watery palates and dull finishes.’
    • ‘Today, we prize dry red and white wines from round the world, while 100 years ago - although clarets and Burgundies were relished - real admiration was saved for naturally sweet wines: the Sauternes, Tokajis and Trockenbeerenausleses.’
    • ‘The pretty medieval hilltop right bank town of St Emilion produces pricey and prestigious clarets, so to get one this good and oozing with soft, juicy, cedary style for under £7 is a coup.’
    • ‘He's got a mixture of clarets, red and white Burgundies, ports and Australian and South African wines.’
    • ‘The wine list is impressively traditional with clarets stretching back to 1979, but there is also a reasonable choice of wines by the glass.’
    • ‘The rare but flavoursome petit verdot grape is becoming fashionable in Bordeaux where it is used to give top clarets the edge.’
    • ‘Wine can follow you through your every mood: From champagne for celebration to mysterious, dusky clarets for contemplation, wine can be a constant travelling companion that allows you to wallow, or to rejoice.’
    • ‘Here, in this small, unpretentious rural backwater on the right bank of Bordeaux's Gironde river, was where those who favoured silky, supple clarets bought their wine.’
    • ‘His cellar in Glasgow is still filled with clarets, Champagnes, white Burgundies and Gaja Barbarescos, most of them bought in London.’
    • ‘It is not that great wines were not made in Bordeaux in 2000, merely that in my tasting book, unlike my assessment of the ‘82 and ‘61 clarets, there are not enough of them.’
    • ‘For the traditionalists, I have found several exceptional clarets at very competitive prices.’
    • ‘Supper is going to be good and Tom has opened the most gorgeous bottle of claret which, I suspect, is older than either of us.’
    • ‘The President was impressed with the claret and drained his glass in seconds.’
    • ‘I never part company with my finest clarets and burgundies at Christmas.’
    • ‘The wine offered was the 1982 Château Mouton Rothschild, retailing at £1,000 a bottle and generally regarded as one of the great clarets of the 20th century.’
    • ‘Accountants reckon that while most of us know the price of turbot or fillet steak, few of us know the price of an obscure Bordeaux claret.’
    scarlet, red, crimson, vermilion, cinnabar, wine, wine-coloured, claret, claret-red, claret-coloured
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A deep purplish-red colour.
      • ‘He was five feet six inches in height, of thick set, muscular figure and dressed in a short claret coloured coat and grey striped trousers.’
      • ‘The light outside the windows changed, from bright golden sunlight to a deep claret.’
      • ‘She sported a sophisticated attire of a white midriff top, violet vest, and short purple skirt with matching claret boots.’
      • ‘Today's underpants colour: I guess you'd call them claret.’
      • ‘Although pupils at Belle Vue Boys school used to wear claret and amber uniforms, they are not the civic colours of Manningham or Bradford.’
      • ‘The training ground has been repainted, the traditional claret replaced with brighter and more cheerful colours.’
      • ‘Tie them in a variety of colours: especially red, orange, claret and shades of these.’
      • ‘Matthew's character Neville and Harry Potter are both in Gryffyndor house whose team colours are claret and amber.’
      • ‘The colour range includes fawns, blues and claret.’
      • ‘‘They can wear rich, jewel-like colours such as claret, emerald or very, very deep creams,’ she advises.’
      • ‘I use claret coloured silk, but that is irrelevant: use any natural colour.’
      • ‘The most useful colours are black, red, claret, olive and shades of these basic colours.’
      • ‘Floral tributes - from a single white rose to huge bouquets of mixed blooms - left the memorial covered with a carpet of the club's colours of claret and amber as flowers, shirts and scarves were laid in memory of those who died.’
      • ‘The hottest hair colors for 1997 included deep clarets, rich blueberry and caramel.’
      • ‘There was one other car built, this was painted in a claret colour and the photo is of this one.’
      • ‘He was in a pea-green suit, she in a claret gown.’
      • ‘Our current idea is for claret coloured suede, which will look good on the new Nepalese carpet (predominantly green, contemporary design, traditionally woven).’
      • ‘The beer has been specially devised to give it a distinctive claret colour and (for the more imaginative beer suppers) an amber-coloured head, hence resembling the club's home strip.’
      • ‘Examples of complementary colors to a red color theme is burgundy, wine, claret red, dark pink, and purple.’
      • ‘When the claret and cream coloured Strathclyde rail service thunders past, conversation becomes difficult.’
    2. 1.2informal, archaic Blood.


Late Middle English (originally denoting a light red or yellowish wine, as distinct from a red or white): from Old French ( vin) claret and medieval Latin claratum (vinum) ‘clarified (wine)’, from Latin clarus ‘clear’.