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 Rancho Gordo harvests its legumes once a year in the fall. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "What to expect at Bay Area grocery stores this weekend: Don’t panic!," 6 Mar. 2020 How Ramona Farms preserves traditional food The Button family grows and promotes thebafv, also known as tepary bean — a legume native to the Southwest that Native Americans have cultivated for thousands of years. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "This family works to preserve native Southwest foods. Here's how to see their story on PBS," 28 Feb. 2020 Specifically, whole grains, nuts and legumes were linked to better brain functioning. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "The MIND diet: 11 foods to eat to keep your brain healthy," 22 Nov. 2019 That includes a variety of vegetables and fruits, fish, skinless poultry, whole grains, and nuts and legumes. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "How to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease," 21 June 2019 But evidence suggests a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (dried beans and peas) helps lower risk for many cancers. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Easy comfort food casserole gets a healthy twist," 22 Feb. 2020 Foods that are lower in calories but still satiating because of their fiber content or macronutrient levels include fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean meats, fatty fish and healthy fats. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Struggling to quit sugar? You might not be sleeping enough," 17 Feb. 2020 There are many promising ways to do this, such as maintaining plant cover on fields year-round; growing diverse crops that include high-nitrogen legumes and perennials with deep roots; and minimizing tillage. Francesca Cotrufo, The Conversation, "Soil carbon is a valuable resource, but all soil carbon is not created equal," 6 Feb. 2020 Birds Eye’s Steamfresh brand has mixes that include legumes and grains, and a sauce, all in one microwaveable bag. Tamar Haspel, Washington Post, "All processed food isn’t bad. We took a nutritionist shopping to find reasonable options.," 9 Sep. 2019

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

15 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

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