legume

noun le·gume \ ˈle-ˌgyüm , li-ˈgyüm \

Definition of legume

1 a :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

  1. recipes that include legumes like lentils and chickpeas

Recent Examples of legume from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of legume

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


LEGUME Defined for English Language Learners

legume

noun

Definition of legume for English Language Learners

  • : 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


LEGUME Defined for Kids

legume

noun le·gume \ ˈle-ˌgyüm \

Definition of legume for Students

: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

Medical Dictionary

legume

noun le·gume \ ˈleg-ˌyüm , li-ˈgyüm \

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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