star anise

noun
|Updated on: 8 Jun 2018

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

Recent Examples of star anise from the Web

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.

First Known Use of star anise

1838

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

STAR ANISE Defined for English Language Learners

star anise

Definition of star anise for English Language Learners

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


Learn More about star anise


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up star anise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

widely and unfavorably known

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a-closeup-of-a-sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!