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

Slice steak and serve with farro salad, topped with fennel fronds if desired. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Steak with Grilled Green Beans, Fennel & Farro," 9 Aug. 2019 Garnish with butternut squash, fennel fronds, fresh basil, mint, and cilantro. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Nina Compton shares her signature recipes," 3 Aug. 2019 Strong, a very extra chef indeed, tucks it in a shaggy blanket of bronze fennel fronds, torn mint, parsley and carrot leaves. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The Mission’s Prairie switches gears, but is it better?," 3 July 2019 Crème fraîche, fennel, and mint countered with cool touches. Fortune, "Review: Patience Is a Virtue Well-Rewarded at this New Orleans Hotel Bar," 14 July 2019 The Willow Fork Park Butterfly Garden is home to nine host plants: Mexican Butterfly weed, candlestick, bouquet dill, Dutchman’s pipevine, fennel, green antelope horn milkweed, curled parsley, passion vine and rue. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Butterfly garden new attraction at Willow Fork Park," 2 July 2019 Continue direct seeding okra, cucumber, basil, chives, dill, leaf fennel, papalo, corn, melon, squash, New Zealand spinach, sunflower seeds and green beans. 7. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "Ten tips to ensure a healthy lawn during a Colorado summer," 27 June 2019 Wild fennel, for example, doesn’t really have a big bulb at the bottom. Michael Gardiner, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chef’s guidance in foraging leads the way to tasty culinary discoveries," 25 June 2019 Add 2 stalks celery, 1 Bartlett pear, 1 bulb fennel, and 1 scallion (all thinly sliced) and toss to combine. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Pear & Walnut Salad," 21 Dec. 2018

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

13 Aug 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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