Definition of pansy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpanzi/

noun (plural pansies)

Image of pansy
1A cultivated variety of viola with brightly coloured flowers.
  • Genus Viola, family Violaceae: several species and hybrids, in particular V. × wittrockiana.
Example sentences
  • Superb instant effects can be achieved by using semi-advanced seedlings of annual flowers such as lobelia, marigolds, pansies and primulas, which are all low-growing and suitable for containers.
  • I plant pansies and violas, too, for color now and again in spring.
  • Seed catalogues can usually be relied upon to indicate which pansies and violas are good for most if not all the winters we are likely to experience.
2 informal, offensive An effeminate or homosexual man.
3South African A sand dollar with a flower-like purple marking on the shell.
  • Echinodiscus bisperforatus, class Echinoidea.
Example sentences
  • GnRH immunoreactivity has also been identified in two anthozoan species: the sea pansy, Renilla koellikeri, and the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis.
  • In the sea pansy, Renilla koellikeri, serotonin can stimulate rhythmic muscular contraction and spawning, and melatonin can inhibit these contractions.
  • The unusual ‘sea pansy,’ Renilla, has a primary polyp that is broad and flattened, with autozooids and siphonozooids on the upper surface.


Late Middle English: from French pensée 'thought, pansy', from penser 'think', from Latin pensare, frequentative of pendere 'weigh, consider'.

  • pensive from Late Middle English:

    Pensive is from Old French pensif from penser ‘to think’: this is via Latin pensare ‘to ponder’ from pendere ‘to weigh’. The notion is of ‘weighing up’ the merits of various options. Ponder (Middle English) ‘to consider, weigh things up’ and ponderous (Late Middle English) ‘weighty’ come from the same root. The flower name pansy also comes from the same source, being the English spelling of the French pensée ‘thought’. This is because of the face-like markings on the flowers, which in old varieties looked as if they were hanging down pensively. See penthouse

Words that rhyme with pansy


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pansy

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