n. pl. pan·sies
1. Any of various plants of the genus Viola, especially V. tricolor or its hybrids, widely cultivated for their flowers with velvety petals of various colors.
2. A deep to strong violet.
3. Offensive Slang
a. Used as a disparaging term for a man or boy who is considered effeminate.
b. Used as a disparaging term for a gay man.
[Middle English pancy, from Old French pensee, thought, remembrance, pansy, from feminine past participle of penser, to think; see PENSIVE.]
(click for a larger image)pansy
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.