star anise


Definition of star anise

: the small brown star-shaped pungent fruit of a Chinese and Vietnamese tree (Illicium verum) that has a flavor similar to but stronger than anise and is dried and used whole or ground as a spice especially in Chinese cooking

Examples of star anise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Combine bourbon, honey, lemon juice, thyme, cinnamon, star anise, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Lyda Burnette, Country Living, "Hot Toddy with Charred Oranges," 13 Dec. 2020 They are scented with a blend of fragrance oils that include orange peel, cardamom, star anise, aged clove, ground ginger, cinnamon bark, tobacco leaf, vanilla and mahogany. Washington Post, "Shopping with the pros: The Madcap Cottage team chooses favorites from Terrain," 19 Nov. 2020 It is made with Basque-style apple cider that has been distilled and infused with herbs and spices like quince, thyme, star anise and cardamom. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Wine gift ideas guaranteed to surprise and delight," 11 Dec. 2020 The bar makes it with pinot noir, bourbon, orange juice, star anise, cinnamon, and lime juice. Marcy De Luna, Chron, "The five Houston restaurant deals you need to know about right now," 4 Dec. 2020 At night, Courter says, Meghan wears Bvlgari BLV II, with notes of violet, mandarin orange, star anise, licorice, iris absolute, patchouli blossom, vetiver, benzoin, ambergris, cistus rockrose, and musks. Rachel Burchfield, Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Wear Fragrance Like Meghan and Kate," 4 Dec. 2020 Cedar and bitter, spicy star anise fill out a frame that’s girded by velvety tannins. Esther Mobley,, "This vibrant, pomegranate-packed red wine comes from an unusual vineyard in the East Bay suburbs," 2 Dec. 2020 There are lime peel and pomegranate molasses with star anise as the high note. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "Whoops. You cooked too much for your small Thanksgiving. What to do with the leftovers," 24 Nov. 2020 At Dampfwerk, many of their German-style spirits incorporate herbs and spices, especially the Helgolander, which delivers a flavor bomb of cardamom, star anise, bitter orange peel and hints of cinnamon and clove. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "3 locally made herbal liqueurs that harness plants and spices to warm you up," 23 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star anise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star anise

1838, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for star anise

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The first known use of star anise was in 1838

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Star anise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for star anise

star anise


English Language Learners Definition of star anise

: a small brown star-shaped fruit that is dried and used as a spice especially in Chinese cooking

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