plural leeks
: a biennial herbaceous plant (Allium porrum synonym A. ampeloprasum var. porrum) of the amaryllis family that is related to the garlic, onion and chive and is commonly grown as an annual for its mildly pungent linear leaves and especially for its cylindrical stemlike lower sheath of leaves

Illustration of leek

Illustration of leek

Examples of leek in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Head to your local farmer’s market to load up on autumnal vegetables–think pumpkin, squash, kale, leeks, parsnips and so on–and throw them into hearty, warming stews and soups. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 8 Nov. 2023 Pour the rice cooking liquid or stock into a large roasting pan and add the leeks. Sean Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Nov. 2023 The pie stuffed with a stew-like filling of spinach, leeks, and hunks of cheese is a must. Caroline Shin, Bon Appétit, 13 Oct. 2023 Plant now from seed or seedlings: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, peas, leeks, fava beans. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2023 Now move onto a denser layer of cooked vegetables, such as cauliflower, potato, leek or squash, lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 30 Aug. 2023 This includes chocolate and chocolate-based products, onions, leeks, garlic, chives, macadamia nuts, raisins, grapes, currants, products sweetened with xylitol, alcoholic beverages, and unbaked bread dough. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 20 Oct. 2023 First, a little garlic 101: Garlic is an allium in the same family as onions, leeks, and chives. Sam Stone, Bon Appétit, 6 Oct. 2023 Korean temple food—vegan, without onions, scallions, chives, leeks, or garlic—is the perfect example. David Graver, Vogue, 9 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'leek.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near leek

Cite this Entry

“Leek.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leek. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a garden herb closely related to the onion and grown for its mildly sharp-tasting leaves and thick stalk

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