\ ˈlēk \

Definition of leek

: a biennial garden herb (Allium porrum synonym A. ampeloprasum porrum) of the lily family that is commonly grown as an annual for its mildly pungent succulent linear leaves and especially for its thick cylindrical stalk

Illustration of leek

Illustration of leek

Examples of leek in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The taste is somewhere in between chives and leeks. Ilaf Esuf, SELF, "How 10 People Cook the Foods They Grew Up With After Immigrating to the United States," 4 Jan. 2019 Add leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (do not let brown). The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin," 27 Nov. 2018 Remove dark-green tops of leeks and discard or save for another use. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Simplest Leek Soup Recipe Is Also the Best," 29 Oct. 2018 Add celery, leeks, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Spring Minestrone Soup," 18 Apr. 2018 Sample dishes include leeks with shimeji mushrroms, horseradish, and cured duck yolk, or Jerusalem artichoke with goat's yogurt and malt. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Breakfasts (and Brunches!) in Sydney," 13 Mar. 2018 Sushi and sashimi are still on the menu, as are a half-dozen types of ramen soup, including rich tonkotsu, a spicy miso version, and even lobster ramen with fried shallots and leeks. Celestina Blok, star-telegram, "Restaurant news for March," 8 Mar. 2018 Add carrots, leek, fresh thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Spring Minestrone," 17 Mar. 2017 Add leeks, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Potato-Leek Soup," 20 Aug. 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for leek

Middle English, from Old English lēac; akin to Old High German louh leek

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Dictionary Entries near leek

lee gauge


lee helm


leek moth



Statistics for leek

Last Updated

29 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for leek

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

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More Definitions for leek



English Language Learners Definition of leek

: a vegetable that has long green leaves rising from a thick white base and that tastes like a mild onion


\ ˈlēk \

Kids Definition of leek

: a vegetable having leaves and thick stems which taste like a mild onion

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More from Merriam-Webster on leek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leek

Spanish Central: Translation of leek

Nglish: Translation of leek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leek for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about leek

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