Definition of cassia in US English:



  • 1A tree, shrub, or herbaceous plant of the pea family, native to warm climates. Cassias yield a variety of products, including fodder, timber, and medicinal drugs, and many are cultivated as ornamentals.

    Genus Cassia, family Leguminosae: many species, including C. fistula, which provides much of the commercially produced senna

    • ‘In one of the southern sectors, one can admire the beautiful pink coloured landscape of cassias.’
    • ‘The Garden City has a number of flowering trees, most of them softwood trees with shallow roots like bright red-coloured Gulmohur, Spathodia, yellow-coloured Dalichanda, cassia species and silver oaks.’
    • ‘The moon is one of twelve symbols traditionally used to decorate imperial robes, and, on some Qianlong imperial robes, the moon encloses a hare pounding the elixir of immortality beneath a cassia tree.’
    • ‘With cooler winter temperatures, different levels of size and color can be found in cassias, camellias, hollies (with their berries), and poinsettias.’
    • ‘If a tree seedling doesn't survive transplanting, Bari and Lou replace it with either a nitrogen-fixing tree like cassia or an ornamental tree like jacaranda, which is covered with striking purple flowers.’
    • ‘Then you should think about growing tall Mexican bluebells, ever blooming dianthus, sweet alyssums, multicolored pink and purple pentas, red jatropha, and yellow cassias for decor.’
    • ‘Many of his imports - including hibiscus, azalea, cassia, magnolia, oleander, croton and jasmine - permanently altered the Jamaican scene.’
    • ‘Told he can return to earth once he has cut down a cassia tree, Wu Kang remains to this day on the moon, chopping a tree that magically restores itself.’
  • 2The aromatic bark of an eastern Asian tree, yielding an inferior kind of cinnamon that is sometimes used to adulterate true cinnamon.

    Cinnamomum aromaticum, family Lauraceae

    • ‘Add the cumin, peppercorns, cassia, cardamom and mace to the oil (adding a drop more if needed) and gently fry for 30 seconds, or until you can smell the aroma - don't burn them.’
    • ‘Because cassia and canella are very coarse and difficult to grind without commercial equipment, they are most often sold in powdered form.’
    • ‘He concludes that the most important distinguishing factor between canella, cassia, and true cinnamon is their oil content.’
    • ‘But gin is truly an international spirit with ingredients such as cardamom from Sri Lanka, cassia bark from Vietnam, orange peel from Spain, coriander seed from the Czech Republic, angelica root from Germany.’
    • ‘Many of today's perfume ingredients such as cassia, cinnamon, sandalwood, styrax, benzoin, jasmine, rose, and so on were used for incense by ancient Chinese, Indian or Egyptian cultures already 5000 years ago.’
    • ‘Once again we see how many of the plants currently used by herbalists are mentioned, including opium, cannabis, myrrh, frankincense, castor oil, fennel, cassia, senna, thyme, henna, juniper, linseed, aloe and castor oil.’
    • ‘Petra was the capital of the Nabataeans' independent kingdom, and as Greek and Roman demand for such exotic goods as cassia, cinnamon, frankincense, and myrrh increased, so did the prosperity of the Nabataeans.’
    • ‘Pillows filled with the skins of black beans and mung beans, cassia seeds, dried chrysanthemum flowers and tartary buckwheat prove good for the eyesight and for keeping the mind clear.’
    • ‘Add several slices of ginger, cassia bark, anise and salt.’
    • ‘After this they fill the cavity with myrrh, cassia and other spices and the body is placed in natron for 70 days.’
    • ‘The baharat spice mix is prepared from black pepper, coriander, cassia, cloves, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, and paprika.’


Old English (in cassia (sense 2)), from Latin, probably denoting the wild cinnamon, via Greek from Hebrew qĕṣī‘āh.