fen·​nel | \ ˈfe-nᵊl How to pronounce fennel (audio) \

Definition of fennel

1 : a perennial Eurasian herb (Foeniculum vulgare) that has clusters of small yellow flowers and aromatic leaves and seeds and includes several cultivated forms: such as
a : one (F. vulgare dulce) grown especially for its edible leaves and seeds that are used as a seasoning
2 : the edible parts (such as the seeds and leaves) of fennel

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Did You Know?

A perennial aromatic herb of the parsley family, fennel is native to southern Europe and Asia Minor and cultivated in the US, Britain, and temperate areas of Eurasia. The blanched shoots are eaten as a vegetable. The greenish brown to yellowish brown oblong-oval seeds smell and taste similar to anise. The seeds and extracted oil are used for scenting soaps and perfumes and for flavoring candies, liqueurs, medicines, and foods, particularly pastries, sweet pickles, and fish.

Examples of fennel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In small bowl, combine crushed fennel, garlic, thyme and 2 tablespoons oil. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Fennel and Thyme Pork Roast with Root Vegetables," 8 Mar. 2019 Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a medium skillet on low along with lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Lemony Artichoke Linguine with Olives," 29 Apr. 2019 Potatoes, carrots, greens, fennel bulbs, and onions are examples of true vegetables. Willi Evans Galloway, Good Housekeeping, "Are Tomatoes Fruits or Vegetables? Actually, They're Both," 12 June 2018 In a large bowl, combine sliced fennel bulbs, oranges, and olives. Country Living, "Fennel, Orange, and Olive Salad," 4 Nov. 2010 Add red pepper and fennel and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Kale and Chickpea Soup," 30 Jan. 2019 Baked cheese-herb crusted halibut fillet, seared lamb loin with cabernet sauce, lobster mac and cheese, fennel and orange cured salmon trout, salted butter caramel cake, and pineapple mousse. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "What It’s Like to Take the Longest Flight in the World," 26 Oct. 2018 Add fennel and onion, season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Northwest Fruit Stuffing," 23 Oct. 2018 This quicker version delivers all the thrills of the original but uses only shrimp, plus fennel and edamame. Fox News, "16 decadent Christmas main dishes," 16 Dec. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fennel.' 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 fennel

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fennel

Middle English fenel, from Old English finugl, from Vulgar Latin *fenuculum, from Latin feniculum fennel, irregular diminutive of fenum hay

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Dictionary Entries near fennel






fennel seed

fennel water

Statistics for fennel

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for fennel

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

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More Definitions for fennel


fen·​nel | \ ˈfen-ᵊl How to pronounce fennel (audio) \

Medical Definition of fennel

: a perennial European herb (Foeniculum vulgare) of the carrot family (Umbelliferae) introduced into North America and cultivated for its aromatic seeds and its foliage

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More from Merriam-Webster on fennel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fennel

Spanish Central: Translation of fennel

Nglish: Translation of fennel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fennel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fennel

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