Definition of alecost in English:



  • 1A wild plant with small daisylike flowers that has culinary and folk-medicinal uses.

    • ‘A striking alecost, 5 feet high and 4 across, waves tiny yellow blossoms in the air.’
    • ‘It has a distinctive fragrance with hints of balsam or mint, and is sometimes called mint geranium; or alecost, because it was used in flavouring ale; or Bible leaf, because its large leaves were used as markers in church.’
    • ‘Another flavouring agent was alecost, Chrysanthemum balsamita, a plant from western Asia related to tansy which was brought to England sometime in the sixteenth century.’
    • ‘Cut back and remove dead parts of silvery herbs such as artemisias, cotton lavenders, alecosts and sages.’
    • ‘The leaves were formerly used in England to flavor ale and negus, hence the name alecost.’
  • 2Another name for costmary.

    See also costmary
    • ‘Even then other plants still often used to preserve and flavour ale, notably bog-myrtle, costmary (alecost), wormwood and ground ivy (ale-hoof).’
    • ‘Before hops were introduced into beer making, alecost was added to clarify the preserve the brew.’
    • ‘If this plant produces beautiful yellow, buttonlike flowers and you recognize that it is generally used as a border, you have probably stumbled onto a specimen of Alecost, or Costmary.’
    • ‘Additionally, the beer pays tribute to early brewers by including the herb known as alecost, once a common flavouring and preservative ingredient in brewing.’
    • ‘Costmary, or alecost, leaves were used to add spice to holiday ale, or wassail, in old Europe.’


Late 16th century: from ale + cost.