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 Monarchs, for example, require milkweed to lay their eggs, while black swallowtails want plants in the dill family, such as dill, parsley and fennel. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fall is the perfect time to put in pollinator-friendly plants, and help the environment," 3 Sep. 2020 Come fall, toss in creamy white beans, beets, chopped kale and fennel. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Chicken salad for the end of summer," 2 Sep. 2020 Add leeks, fennel, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Spring Minestrone," 30 Apr. 2020 Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, borage, chives, coriander, dill, lemon balm, lavender, Mexican tarragon, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet fennel, sweet marjoram and thyme 6. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "September in the Garden," 29 Aug. 2020 Toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid scorching. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Veggie Burger 2.0: Better than beef? It’s possible!," 27 Aug. 2020 Chop the fronds to use as parsley, fennel’s other relative. Beth Dooley, Star Tribune, "Expand your vegetable repertoire with fennel," 12 Aug. 2020 George will also announce from stage their new franchising program, which will include everything for a business to make their pizzas, from the dough to sauce to fatty fennel sausage, but not the secret family recipes of course. Louisa Chu, chicagotribune.com, "Vito & Nick’s celebrates 100 years in Chicago with the best tavern-style pizza in the city," 12 Aug. 2020 One batch of giardineria included radishes, cauliflower, fennel, onions and garlic. oregonlive, "How to pickle your veggie garden harvest: The Pecks," 12 Aug. 2020

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 at sense 1

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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Time Traveler for fennel

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fennel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fennel. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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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

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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