\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

Chef Kate Williams from Lady of the House in Detroit serves a steak tartar with charred leek gremolata. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "The Right Way to Burn Food, According to the Chefs Who Do It Best," 26 May 2018 The mint and the leeks really make a nice fresh addition. Molly Baz, Bon Appetit, "Orecchiette with Buttermilk, Peas, and Pistachios," 28 May 2018 Raise heat under pan to medium-high, and stir in artichokes, leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook until golden brown and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Melissa Clark, charlotteobserver, "Diving into the delicious mess that is the artichoke | Charlotte Observer," 15 May 2018 Cut each leek in half lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons. Chris Ross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Shiitake Barley Soup ladles up homemade comfort," 12 Mar. 2018 To prepare leeks, just trim the darkest green end off and cut them in half lengthways before running under cold water. Time, "Weekend Recipe: A Kale, Spinach and Feta Pie That’s Perfect for Lunch and Dinner," 18 Jan. 2018 There’s green garlic and leeks on the sausage pizza, and the potato and rosemary is a fan favorite. Ben Mesirow, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Ultimate Pizza Crawl Through Northeast L.A.," 23 May 2018 In the vegetable store, artichokes, fava beans, radicchio, tomatoes, carrots, leeks and squash blossoms are so artfully arranged as to shame any Whole Foods market. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Resort’s Tuscany cooking class has all the right ingredients," 2 July 2018 Add the onion, leek, shallot, carrot, celery, garlic and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "'Tis the season for Sweet corn bisque," 4 May 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

24 Sep 2018

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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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