cum·​in | \ ˈkə-mən How to pronounce cumin (audio) , ˈkyü- How to pronounce cumin (audio) , ˈkü- How to pronounce cumin (audio) \

Definition of cumin

: a small annual herb (Cuminum cyminum) of the carrot family cultivated for its aromatic fruits also : the seedlike fruit of cumin used as a spice

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Did You Know?

Cumin is a small, slender annual herb of the carrot family, cultivated in the Mediterranean region, India, China, and Mexico. Its seeds, which are actually dried fruits, are used in many mixed spices, chutneys, and chili and curry powders. Cumin is especially popular in Asian, North African, and Latin American cuisines. Its oil is used in perfumes, for flavoring liquors, and for medicinal purposes.

Examples of cumin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The famous Maharashtrian street snack is rich with butter and layered with toasty cumin, black cardamom and other spices. Soleil Ho,, "Here’s why you should get a restaurant meal for Thanksgiving this year," 16 Nov. 2020 Put popcorn in a large mixing bowl, toss with butter mixed with chili powder and cumin. Beth Segal, cleveland, "POP UP! How to create that perfect tub of movie popcorn and six ways to make it even better," 5 Nov. 2020 Stir in the coconut milk, cumin, chile powder, garam masala, sugar, cinnamon and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Washington Post, "Discover the nutty goodness of kabocha squash with this stellar sauce," 25 Oct. 2020 Add chili powder and cumin and continue to sauté 30 seconds. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Spanish Cauliflower rice gets a kick from chili powder," 23 Oct. 2020 In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cayenne. Meredith Deeds Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Grilled nachos will satisfy some Minnesota State Fair cravings," 2 Sep. 2020 Add chopped cilantro, serrano chile, scallions, chipotle powder, cumin and pinch of cayenne, to taste. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "A veggie burger unlike the others," 16 July 2020 Generally speaking, accidentally overseasoning a dish with any one kind of mild spice or herb — cumin, for instance, or tarragon — can be balanced by adjusting the amount of salt, acidity or other complementary spices. Washington Post, "You can save almost any overseasoned or oversalted soup, stew or sauce with these tips," 16 Dec. 2020 With picks ranging from turmeric to cumin, just choose three spices, sourced fresh from India, for a trio that’ll add some zest to your recipient’s kitchen. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "42 gifts that support BIPOC-owned brands this holiday season," 16 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cumin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cumin

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cumin

Middle English, from Old English cymen, from Latin cuminum, from Greek kyminon, of Semitic origin; akin to Akkadian kamūnu cumin

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Time Traveler for cumin

Time Traveler

The first known use of cumin was before the 12th century

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Statistics for cumin

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cumin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cumin


How to pronounce cumin (audio) How to pronounce cumin (audio) How to pronounce cumin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cumin

: dried seeds that are used as a spice in cooking and that come from a plant related to the carrot

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More from Merriam-Webster on cumin

Nglish: Translation of cumin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cumin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cumin

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