a Mediterranean plant, Pimpinella anisum, of the parsley family, having loose umbrels of small yellowish-white flowers that yield aniseed.

Origin of anise

1350–1400; Middle English anis < Old French < Latin anīsum < Greek ánīson
Related formsa·nis·ic [uh-nis-ik] /əˈnɪs ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anise

Contemporary Examples of anise

  • At first, the taste is bright and mostly of fennel, then it slides into anise, and then fades away with a minty finish.

  • The potatoes, fennel, anise, and garlic perfectly complement the brininess of the seafood.

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    Fresh Picks

    George Mendes

    September 7, 2010

  • Another variation replaces the anise with candied fruits like oranges, pineapples, and figs.

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    Secrets of Día de los Muertos

    Ana Sofia Pelaez

    October 27, 2009

Historical Examples of anise

British Dictionary definitions for anise



a Mediterranean umbelliferous plant, Pimpinella anisum, having clusters of small yellowish-white flowers and liquorice-flavoured seedsSee aniseed

Word Origin for anise

C13: from Old French anis, via Latin from Greek anison
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for anise

Levantine plant cultivated for its seeds, which were important sources of chemical oils and flavoring, c.1300, from Old French anis (13c.), from Latin anisum, from Greek anison. By the Ancients, somewhat confused with dill.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper