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 Curry has become a catchall word for any Indian meat, vegetable or legume dish in a sauce. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Looking beyond curry to kootu and korma," 5 Apr. 2021 Contrary to their name, black-eyed peas (or cowpeas) are a legume that contains protein, soluble fiber and micronutrients the body needs to function properly. Angela Watson, chicagotribune.com, "Foods that boost the immune system," 27 Mar. 2021 The six-course menu is $145 and includes beef ribs, farm legume, snapper crudo made from chermoula, radish, pickled rose and apple, and tuna ventresca, which is inspired by the Tunisian sandwich fricassee. Shacamree Gowdy, Chron, "Goodnight Hospitality's March restaurant is ready to prove just what Mediterranean means," 24 Mar. 2021 The patties’ dough, on the chewier end of the crust spectrum, easily stands up to the wet legume topping. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "Fresh Bay Area takes on the Jamaican patty highlight the best of the flaky, savory treat," 25 Feb. 2021 Ladle it over cooked lentils or another legume of your choosing, pour the textured mixture over pasta with nice nooks and crannies, or atop a bowl of hot brown rice. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Frozen peas, canned tomatoes create healthy, penny-pinching dish," 25 Jan. 2021 The presence of the bacteria is why bean and other legume crops only need small amounts of fertilizer for growth. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Here’s when to prune various rose plants," 21 Nov. 2020 The ancient blue dye, extracted in an elaborate process from the leaves of the bushy legume Indigofera tinctoria, was first shipped to Europe from India and Java in the 16th century. Brandon Tensley, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Denim Became a Political Symbol of the 1960s," 17 Nov. 2020 Iowa is the country's second-largest producer of the legume, Goldford said. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Iowa a weakened firewall for Republican Senate control," 29 Oct. 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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Statistics for legume

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Legume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legume. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for legume



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

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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