Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several plants of the genus Tanacetum of the composite family, especially T. vulgare, native to Eurasia, having corymbs of buttonlike yellow flower heads and aromatic, finely divided leaves that are sometimes used medicinally.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A perennial herb, Tanacetum vulgare, a stout erect plant 2 or 3 feet high, with pinnate cuttoothed leaves, and yellow ray-less heads in a terminal corymb.
  • noun One of several plants with somewhat similar leaves, as the milfoil, Achillea Millefolium, the silverweed (also goose-tansy), and the ragwort, Senecio Jacobæa. See the phrases below.
  • noun A pudding or cake made with eggs, cream, sugar, rose-water, and the juice of tansy, to which that of spinach, sorrel, or other herbs was sometimes added.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) Any plant of the composite genus Tanacetum. The common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) has finely divided leaves, a strong aromatic odor, and a very bitter taste. It is used for medicinal and culinary purposes.
  • noun obsolete A dish common in the seventeenth century, made of eggs, sugar, rose water, cream, and the juice of herbs, baked with butter in a shallow dish.
  • noun (Bot.) a variety of the common tansy with the leaves more dissected than usual.
  • noun (Bot.) a plant (Sisymbrium canescens) of the Mustard family, with tansylike leaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A herbaceous plant with yellow flowers, of the genus Tanacetum, especially Tanacetum vulgare.
  • noun uncountable, obsolete A dish common in the seventeenth century, made of eggs, sugar, rose water, cream, and the juice of herbs (including tansy), baked with butter in a shallow dish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun common perennial aromatic herb native to Eurasia having buttonlike yellow flower heads and bitter-tasting pinnate leaves sometimes used medicinally

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French tanesie, from Vulgar Latin *tanacēta, from Late Latin tanacētum, wormwood.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French tanesie, tanoisie et al., aphetic form of athanasie, from Medieval Latin athanasia, from Ancient Greek ἀθανασία ("immortality").

Examples

  • I remark on the pungent foliage, and smartly share my knowledge that the word tansy comes from the French word for “nose-twister.”

    Garden Goddess for Hire

  • Besides that, there flourished some tufts of velvety grass, some scattered reeds, two plants of the yellow herb called tansy, four of a red flower, and a pretty white one; but the treasures of the rock consisted of three roots of garlic, which Maie had put in a cleft.

    The Lilac Fairy Book

  • Besides that, there flourished some tufts of velvety grass, some scattered reeds, two plants of the yellow herb called tansy, four of a red flower, and a pretty white one; but the treasures of the rock consisted of three roots of garlic, which Maie had put in a cleft.

    The Lilac Fairy Book

  • Besides that, there flourished some tufts of velvety grass, some scattered reeds, two plants of the yellow herb called tansy, four of a red flower, and a pretty white one; but the treasures of the rock consisted of three roots of garlic, which Maie had put in a cleft.

    The Lilac Fairy Book

  • People throughout Western Washington are reporting unusual numbers of a poisonous weed called tansy ragwort.

    The Seattle Times

  • BREMERTON - People throughout Western Washington are reporting unusual numbers of a poisonous weed called tansy ragwort.

    The Seattle Times

  • Hoster is saying "tansy" on his deathbed because he regrets what he did to Lysa and is possibly one of the reasons Lysa left Riverrun and never returned.

    Which episode will GRRM write?

  • Spring is the season for wild garlic, wild asparagus, morels and wood sorrel, chickweed, tansy and more, so it's the perfect time to learn how to forage for herbs and other plants.

    Pastures new: UK spring break ideas

  • She says a plant is fernleaf yarrow, I say it's tansy.

    Garden Goddess for Hire

  • As heady as the fragrance of crushed tansy came the steady honking of grey geese announcing their return.

    Raven Speak

Comments

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  • My Heart, Being Hungry

    My heart, being hungry, feeds on food

    The fat of heart despise.

    Beauty where beauty never stood,

    And sweet where no sweet lies

    I gather to my querulous need,

    Having a growing heart to feed.

    It may be, when my heart is full,

    Having attained its girth,

    I shall not find so beautiful

    The meagre shapes of earth,

    Nor linger in the rain to mark

    The smell of tansy through the dark.

    _Edna St. Vincent Millay

    January 25, 2008

  • One day she appeared at the schoolhouse itself, partly out of amused curiosity about my industries; but she explained that there was no tansy in the neighborhood with such snap to it as some that grew about the schoolhouse lot. Being scuffed down all the spring made it grow so much the better, like some folks that had it hard in their youth, and were bound to make the most of themselves before they died.

    --Sarah Orne Jewett, 1896, The Country of the Pointed Firs

    December 18, 2009

  • a word more beautiful than what it describes (as far as flowers go, anyway)

    December 18, 2009

  • It's a pansy with tang.

    December 19, 2009

  • Usage on emmenagogue and another on dauco.

    January 19, 2010

  • Another usage/historical note in comment on erbolat.

    January 8, 2017