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A stylized botanical diagram of a thyrse
The inflorescence of Campanula thyrsoides is a thyrse
The central figure in this sculpture walks bearing a thyrse (or thyrsus) in his left hand and an oenochoe in his right hand


From Ancient Greek θύρσος (thúrsos) via Latin thyrsus and French thyrse.


thyrse (plural thyrses)

  1. (botany) A type of inflorescence; a compact panicle having an obscured main axis and cymose subaxes.
    • 1804, Benjamin Smith Barton, Elements of Botany, page 143,
      The Thyrsus *, or Thyrse, is a mode of inflorescence very nearly allied to the panicle, being, in fact, a panicle contracted into an ovate, or egg-shaped form. In the thyrse, the middle footstalks, which are longer, extend horizontally, whilst the upper and lower oes are shorter, and rise up vertically.
    • 1840, Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, Boughton Kingdon (translator), Vegetable Organography, Volume II, page 24,
      The example of the thyrse of Eugenia leads us to understand several inflorescences which resemble also racemes or panicles; such are the thyrses of the Lilac.
    • 1998, D. W. Stevenson, M. Colella, B. Boom, Rapateaceae, Klaus Kubitzki, H. Huber (editors), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, Volume IV: Flowering Plants, Monocotyledons: Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae), page 417,
      The number of spikelets is variable, and some genera have thyrses with 70 spikelets (Saxofridericia, Spathanthus) or only 1-3 spikelets per inflorescence (Stegolepsis, Monotrema).
  2. (archaic) A thyrsus (staff with conical ornament).

Derived terms[edit]





Borrowed from Latin thyrsus, itself a borrowing from Ancient Greek θύρσος (thúrsos). Doublet of torse, a borrowing from Italian.



thyrse m (plural thyrses)

  1. thyrsus
  2. thyrse

Further reading[edit]




  1. vocative singular of thyrsus