noun le·gume \ˈle-ˌgyüm, li-ˈgyüm\

: a type of plant (such as a pea or a bean plant) with seeds that grow in long cases (called pods); also : these seeds eaten as food

Full Definition of LEGUME

a :  the fruit or seed of plants of the legume family (as peas or beans) used for food
b :  a vegetable used for food
:  any of a large family (Leguminosae syn. Fabaceae, the legume family) of dicotyledonous herbs, shrubs, and trees having fruits that are legumes (sense 3) or loments, bearing nodules on the roots that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and including important food and forage plants (as peas, beans, or clovers)
:  a dry dehiscent one-celled fruit developed from a simple superior ovary and usually dehiscing into two valves with the seeds attached to the ventral suture :  pod

Examples of LEGUME

  1. recipes that include legumes like lentils and chickpeas

Origin of LEGUME

French légume, from Latin legumin-, legumen leguminous plant, from legere to gather — more at legend
First Known Use: 1676

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel
LEGUMES Defined for Kids


noun le·gume \ˈle-ˌgyüm\

Definition of LEGUME for Kids

:  any of a large group of plants (as peas, beans, and clover) with fruits that are pods which split into two parts and root nodules containing bacteria that fix nitrogen
Medical Dictionary


noun le·gume \ˈleg-ˌyüm, li-ˈgyüm\

Medical Definition of LEGUME

:  the fruit or seed of leguminous plants (as peas or beans) used for food
:  any plant of the family Leguminosae


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