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 Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Alysha Witwicki, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thanksgiving leftovers can be transformed for morning, noon and night (and dessert)," 26 Nov. 2019 Add garlic and cumin, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "A brilliant Thanksgiving strategy: Make sides quickly, or ahead," 25 Nov. 2019 Add kale, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and salt. Callie Blount, al, "How to make veggie-stuffed bell peppers," 14 Nov. 2019 Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, "This tomato-less chili verde opens up a world of comforting possibilities," 7 Nov. 2019 My mother cooked us traditional food, and those smells are still in my head: delicious-smelling ingredients like garlic, cumin, and coriander. Gina Way, Marie Claire, "Adut Akech on Achieving Your Dreams," 26 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, make chermoula: In clean bowl of food processor, combine garlic, cumin, paprika, parsley and cilantro. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Easy Spring Supper: Catfish Tagine With Chermoula," 5 Apr. 2018 Stir in the garlic, cumin and coriander; cook for 30 seconds more, then remove from the heat to cool slightly. Ellie Krieger, charlotteobserver, "This improved black bean dip is smoky and warm | Charlotte Observer," 20 Mar. 2018 Grind peppers, seeds, garlic and cumin and add to meat. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Retro Recipes: Why some Hoosiers put spaghetti in chili," 16 Feb. 2018

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

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cumin.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cumin

Spanish Central: Translation of cumin

Nglish: Translation of cumin for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on cumin

What made you want to look up cumin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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