Definition of cicely in English:


(also sweet cicely)


  • An aromatic white-flowered plant of the parsley family, with fernlike leaves.

    sweet cicely
    and → myrrh
    • ‘The sweet cicely, which I have always had in the bed in front of the dining room, is in flower again.’
    • ‘Sweet cicely likes half shade and a moist, rich soil.’
    • ‘Gardening programmes make much of cow-parsley, yet sweet cicely is not only a prettier plant but also has a longer growing season and is edible!’
    • ‘Spoon into a pretty bowl and decorate with small springs and flowers of sweet cicely.’
    • ‘One of the first herbs to appear in the spring, sweet cicely makes a becoming backdrop to a perennial border.’
    • ‘The root of sweet cicely can be boiled and eaten.’


Late 16th century: from Latin seselis, from Greek. The spelling change was due to association with the given name Cicely.