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[tar-uh-gon, -guh n] /ˈtær əˌgɒn, -gən/
an Old World plant, Artemisia dracunculus, having aromatic leaves used for seasoning.
the leaves themselves.
Also called estragon.
Origin of tarragon
1530-40; earlier taragon < Middle French targon, variant of tarc(h)on < Medieval Latin < Medieval Greek tarchṓn < Arabic ṭarkhūn < Greek drákōn literally, dragon; compare Latin dracunculus tarragon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tarragon
  • Cook one-half teaspoon finely chopped shallot in one tablespoon tarragon vinegar five minutes.
  • At lunch the spotlight is on soups, salads and specialty sandwiches including tarragon chicken salad and daily vegetarian options.
  • tarragon, chives, and parsley temper the richness of the hazelnuts.
  • Reheat gently, sprinkle with parsley and tarragon, and serve.
  • Unmold and garnish the top, if desired, with a few tarragon leaves.
  • tarragon brings a hint of sweetness to this frittata.
British Dictionary definitions for tarragon


an aromatic perennial plant, Artemisia dracunculus, of the Old World, having whitish flowers and small toothed leaves, which are used as seasoning: family Asteraceae (composites)
the leaves of this plant
Also called estragon
Word Origin
C16: from Old French targon, from Medieval Latin tarcon, from Arabic tarkhūn, perhaps from Greek drakontion adderwort
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tarragon

1530s, from Medieval Latin tragonia, from Byzantine Greek tarchon, from Arabic tarkhon, from a non-Arabic source, perhaps Greek drakon (from drakontion "dragonwort"). Eastern European plant of the wormwood genus (Artemisia Dracunculus), whose aromatic leaves were used for flavoring (especially vinegar). Cf. Spanish taragona, Italian targone, French estragon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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