le·​gume | \ ˈle-ˌgyüm How to pronounce legume (audio) , li-ˈgyüm How to pronounce legume (audio) \

Definition of legume

1a : the fruit or seed of plants of the legume family (such as peas or beans) used for food
b : a vegetable used for food
2 : any of a large family (Leguminosae synonym Fabaceae, the legume family) of dicotyledonous herbs, shrubs, and trees having fruits that are legumes (sense 3) or loments, bearing nodules on the roots that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and including important food and forage plants (such as peas, beans, or clovers)
3 : a dry dehiscent one-celled fruit developed from a simple superior ovary and usually dehiscing into two valves with the seeds attached to the ventral suture : pod

Examples of legume in a Sentence

recipes that include legumes like lentils and chickpeas
Recent Examples on the Web Fret not; these legumes are incredibly versatile, serving as a snack, adding texture to salads, and turning stews into one-pot meals. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "Got Too Many Chickpeas? Make These Recipes!," 13 May 2020 Unusually for a relatively British gardener, I cannot be bothered with Runner beans, the most English of all the legumes. Charlotte Mendelson, The New Yorker, "It’s Time to Grow Your Own Beans," 24 Apr. 2020 Roll nitrogen fixing bacteria onto legume seeds. Do not add fertilizer. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska gardeners have lots of questions about seeds and seedlings," 9 Apr. 2020 It’s products are made from six types of legumes — peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans. cleveland, "Beyond plant-based meat, General Mills is now investing in plant-based seafood," 16 Jan. 2020 Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Howard Lewine, sun-sentinel.com, "Why would dietary sugar harm your heart?," 23 Oct. 2019 But with a little adjustment, the same base of ingredients can be applied to a wide range of vegetables, legumes, meat alternatives and other ingredients. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Carne guisada is the simple stew you need right now," 16 Oct. 2019 In addition to protein, beans and legumes are packed with health beneficial fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "No Meat on Hand? These Meat Substitutes Are the Next Best Thing," 1 May 2020 Build in legumes and rice at every opportunity in the way of bean, rice, and cheese burritos, chiles, and grain bowls (or salads with beans and grains mixed in). Sunset Magazine, "How to Cook for a Family During Quarantine: A Kitchen Survival Guide with Recipes," 2 Apr. 2020

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

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for legume

French légume, from Latin legumin-, legumen leguminous plant, from legere to gather — more at legend

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Time Traveler for legume

Time Traveler

The first known use of legume was in 1676

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Statistics for legume

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legume. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for legume


How to pronounce legume (audio) How to pronounce legume (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of legume

: a type of plant (such as a pea or a bean plant) with seeds that grow in long cases (called pods) also : these seeds eaten as food


le·​gume | \ ˈle-ˌgyüm How to pronounce legume (audio) \

Kids Definition of legume

: any of a large group of plants (as peas, beans, and clover) with fruits that are pods which split into two parts and root nodules containing bacteria that fix nitrogen


le·​gume | \ ˈleg-ˌyüm How to pronounce legume (audio) , li-ˈgyüm How to pronounce legume (audio) \

Medical Definition of legume

1 : the fruit or seed of leguminous plants (as peas or beans) used for food
2 : any plant of the family Leguminosae

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More from Merriam-Webster on legume

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with legume

Spanish Central: Translation of legume

Nglish: Translation of legume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of legume for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about legume

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