Definition of tansy in US English:



  • A plant of the daisy family with yellow flat-topped flower heads and aromatic leaves, formerly used in cooking and medicine.

    Genus Tanacetum, family Compositae: several species, in particular common tansy (T. vulgare)

    • ‘Many herbs can help to deter flies, such as lavender, sweet woodruff, lemon verbena, star anise, tansy, any of the mints, rosemary, bay, chamomile, rue, elder, southernwood and basil.’
    • ‘This is how you pull tansy: plant your feet wide, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, grasp the trunk of the tansy ragwort plant near the base, take a deep breath, and pull with everything you've got.’
    • ‘It is home to hundreds of species of wildflowers and grasses - including the tansy, meadowsweet, poppy, vetch and marigold - a host of butterflies, insects and beetles, and birds of prey such as the owl and kestrel.’
    • ‘Plant tansy or basil around the patio and house to repel mosquitoes.’
    • ‘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.’


Middle English: from Old French tanesie, probably from medieval Latin athanasia ‘immortality’, from Greek.