Aniseed – Definition & Meaning

Aniseed is a spice that is widely used in cooking and medicine. It is known for its distinct aroma and flavor, which is often described as sweet and licorice-like. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of aniseed, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


Aniseed is the seed of the anise plant (Pimpinella anisum), which is a member of the parsley family. It is a small, oval-shaped seed that is brownish-gray in color. Aniseed is often used as a flavoring agent in food, beverages, and herbal medicines.


Aniseed is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and was highly valued by the ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties. Today, aniseed is grown in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, aniseed is defined as “the seed of anise used as a flavoring in food and liqueurs.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines aniseed as “the seed of the anise plant, used as a flavoring in cooking, confectionery, and medicine.”


Aniseed is often associated with licorice and fennel due to their similar flavor profiles. It is also commonly used in the production of alcoholic beverages, such as absinthe, ouzo, and pastis.
In traditional medicine, aniseed is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and relieving coughs and colds.


Some synonyms for aniseed include anise, anise seed, aniseed oil, and anise extract.


There are no specific antonyms for aniseed, as it is a unique spice with a distinct flavor and aroma.

The same root words

Aniseed is derived from the Latin word anisum, which is also the root word for anise and anisette.

Example Sentences

  1. I love the taste of aniseed in my tea.
  2. Aniseed is a common ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes.
  3. The aniseed oil helped to soothe my upset stomach.
  4. The bartender added a splash of aniseed liqueur to my cocktail.
  5. Aniseed is often used in herbal remedies for its medicinal properties.

In conclusion, aniseed is a versatile spice that has been used for thousands of years in cooking and medicine. Its distinct flavor and aroma make it a popular ingredient in many dishes and beverages, and it is believed to have a variety of health benefits. Whether you’re a fan of licorice or just looking to try something new, aniseed is definitely worth exploring.

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