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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Only the rich had access to the very finest clarets of Bordeaux.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The President was impressed with the claret and drained his glass in seconds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the traditionalists, I have found several exceptional clarets at very competitive prices.’
    • ‘His cellar in Glasgow is still filled with clarets, Champagnes, white Burgundies and Gaja Barbarescos, most of them bought in London.’
    • ‘I never part company with my finest clarets and burgundies at Christmas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The wine list is impressively traditional with clarets stretching back to 1979, but there is also a reasonable choice of wines by the glass.’
    • ‘One wine writer of the old school refused to partner his great vintage clarets with smelly French cheeses, believing the pair to clash horribly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Consequently too many of the 2002 clarets I tasted had unpleasant bitter green tannins, hollow watery palates and dull finishes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's got a mixture of clarets, red and white Burgundies, ports and Australian and South African wines.’
    scarlet, red, crimson, vermilion, cinnabar, wine, wine-coloured, claret, claret-red, claret-coloured
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A deep purplish-red colour.
      • ‘Our current idea is for claret coloured suede, which will look good on the new Nepalese carpet (predominantly green, contemporary design, traditionally woven).’
      • ‘The most useful colours are black, red, claret, olive and shades of these basic colours.’
      • ‘Today's underpants colour: I guess you'd call them claret.’
      • ‘I use claret coloured silk, but that is irrelevant: use any natural colour.’
      • ‘Tie them in a variety of colours: especially red, orange, claret and shades of these.’
      • ‘Examples of complementary colors to a red color theme is burgundy, wine, claret red, dark pink, and purple.’
      • ‘The light outside the windows changed, from bright golden sunlight to a deep claret.’
      • ‘When the claret and cream coloured Strathclyde rail service thunders past, conversation becomes difficult.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She sported a sophisticated attire of a white midriff top, violet vest, and short purple skirt with matching claret boots.’
      • ‘The colour range includes fawns, blues and claret.’
      • ‘Matthew's character Neville and Harry Potter are both in Gryffyndor house whose team colours are claret and amber.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although pupils at Belle Vue Boys school used to wear claret and amber uniforms, they are not the civic colours of Manningham or Bradford.’
      • ‘‘They can wear rich, jewel-like colours such as claret, emerald or very, very deep creams,’ she advises.’
      • ‘The training ground has been repainted, the traditional claret replaced with brighter and more cheerful colours.’
    2. 1.2archaic, informal 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’.