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

Anchovies, fennel, a splash of white wine and the briny drippings from... Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "This Recipe Delivers an Early Taste of Spring," 8 Mar. 2019 Brunch staples include poached eggs with tomato, chickpeas and fennel, potatoes, a Toulouse sausage, avocado, and feta, as well as the house flatbread. Karin Eldor, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Brunches in Montreal," 6 Aug. 2018 Add fennel, onion, and red pepper flakes with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender. Daniel Boulud, ELLE Decor, "Marky Ramone's Drum Punk Pasta Recipe," 18 Oct. 2010 Put your new chicken thigh skills to work in these recipes: Marinated Fennel With Chicken and Wild Rice Crispy brown chicken skin pairs perfectly with this earthy dish of fennel and wild rice. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Cook Perfectly Crispy Chicken Thighs Every Time," 25 Feb. 2019 Toss mushrooms with fennel and brush chicken with remaining juice mixture. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken with Fennel and Radicchio Salad," 27 Nov. 2018 Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and chopped 2 zucchini, chopped 8 oz. Laura Washburn, House Beautiful, "Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe: Soup au Pistou," 23 Jan. 2013 Ingredients • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced • 1 small onion, thinly sliced • ½ tsp. Daniel Boulud, ELLE Decor, "Marky Ramone's Drum Punk Pasta Recipe," 18 Oct. 2010 On prepared sheet, toss fennel with oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Orange-Ginger Roast Chicken with Fennel and Radicchio Salad," 27 Nov. 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

26 Mar 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

Comments on fennel

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


to boil down or concentrate

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