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 Vegan protein powder can be made from virtually any legume, seed, or grain, from hemp seeds to brown rice to watermelon seeds. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appétit, 8 Mar. 2022 The legume family, which includes lentils, beans (black, cannellini, kidney, navy and more), soybeans, peas and chickpeas, provides plant protein in a highly nourishing package. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 26 Feb. 2022 By the late 1800s, the legume had grown from a Southern regional crop to one with national appeal across the United States. Jessica Damiano, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Feb. 2022 And based on your responses over the years, Hoppin’ John is a popular way to enjoy this tasty legume. al, 30 Dec. 2021 Santee has 35 families of trees, mostly made up of 27 species of myrtle trees, and 22 species of fabaceae trees — more commonly known as legume, pea or bean trees. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Dec. 2021 Pulses are the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, including beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils, nutrient-rich ingredients that people have been cultivating for more than 10,000 years. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 20 Oct. 2021 This double-legume system allowed the farmers to harvest nuts and beans for their children and then dig the nitrogen-rich residue back into the soil to boost maize production—without buying fertilizer. Raj Patel, Scientific American, 22 Sep. 2021 Rotenone is a naturally occurring chemical found in the roots of a South American legume. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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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legume inoculation

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Last Updated

17 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Legume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legume. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for legume


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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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