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 pansy on Wikipedia


From Middle French pensée (thought), as the plant resembles someone that is in deep thought, with a lowered head. Doublet of pensée.


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /ˈpæn.zi/
  • Rhymes: -ænzi
Purple pansy


pansy (plural pansies)

  1. A cultivated flowering plant, derived by hybridization within species Viola tricolor.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Second Pastoral. Or, Alexis.”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, page 6:
      The Daughters of the Flood have ſearch'd the Mead / For Violets pale, and cropt the Poppy's Head: / The Short Narciſſus and fair Daffodil, / Pancies to pleaſe the Sight, and Caſſia ſvveet to ſmell: []
    • 1920, Katherine Mansfield [pseudonym; Kathleen Mansfield Murry], “Revelations”, in Bliss and Other Stories, London: Constable & Company, published 1920, OCLC 561951956, page 271:
      Oh, what a perfect thought. Lilies-of-the-valley, and white pansies, double white violets and white velvet ribbon… From an unknown friend. … From one who understands. … For a Little Girl.
  2. (color) A deep purple colour, like that of the pansy.
  3. Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Junonia.
    Synonym: argus
  4. (derogatory, colloquial) A timid, weak man or boy; a wuss.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:milksop
  5. (derogatory, colloquial, dated) A male homosexual, especially one who is effeminate.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:male homosexual, Thesaurus:effeminate man

Alternative forms[edit]



pansy (not comparable)

  1. Wimpy; spineless; feeble.
  2. Of a deep purple colour, like that of the pansy.

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pansy (third-person singular simple present pansies, present participle pansying, simple past and past participle pansied)

  1. (slang, intransitive, usually with "around" or "about") To mess about; to fail to get things done.

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