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noun let·tuce \ˈle-təs\

: a plant that has large leaves that are eaten especially in salads

Full Definition of LETTUCE

:  any of a genus (Lactuca) of composite plants; especially :  a common garden vegetable (L. sativa) whose succulent leaves are used especially in salads

Examples of LETTUCE

  1. I like a little lettuce and tomato on my sandwiches.

Origin of LETTUCE

Middle English letuse, from Anglo-French letuse, probably from plural of letue lettuce plant, from Latin lactuca, from lact-, lac milk; from its milky juice — more at galaxy
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Food Terms

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


noun let·tuce \ˈle-təs\

Definition of LETTUCE for Kids

:  a garden plant that has large crisp leaves eaten especially in salads

Word History of LETTUCE

Many kinds of lettuce have a milky white juice. Lettuce owes its name to this fact. The Latin name for lettuce, lactuca, from which we get English lettuce (through medieval French letuse), came from the Latin word for milk, lac.
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