noun \ˈlēk\

: a vegetable that has long green leaves rising from a thick white base and that tastes like a mild onion

Full Definition of LEEK

:  a biennial garden herb (Allium ampeloprasum porrum) of the lily family grown for its mildly pungent succulent linear leaves and especially for its thick cylindrical stalk

Illustration of LEEK

Origin of LEEK

Middle English, from Old English lēac; akin to Old High German louh leek
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Leek (Allium ampeloprasum, variety porrum).—G.R. Roberts

Hardy, vigorous, biennial plant (Allium ampeloprasum variety porrum, sometimes called A. porrum) of the family Alliaceae, native to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. It has a mild, sweet, onionlike flavour. In Europe it is widely used in soups and stews and is cooked whole as a vegetable. It became the national emblem of Wales following an ancient victory by an army of Welshmen who wore leeks as a distinguishing sign. The long, narrow leaves and nearly cylindrical bulb of the first season are replaced in the second season by a tall, solid stalk bearing leaves and a large umbel with many flowers.


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