noun, often attributive
\ ˈpē How to pronounce pea (audio) \
plural peas also pease\ ˈpēz How to pronounce pea (audio) \

Definition of pea

1a : a variable annual Eurasian vine (Pisum sativum) of the legume family that is cultivated especially for its rounded smooth or wrinkled edible protein-rich seeds
b : the seed of the pea
c peas also pease plural : the immature pods of the pea with their included seeds
2 : any of various leguminous plants related to or resembling the pea usually used in combination or with a qualifying term chickpeablack-eyed pea also : the seed of such a plant
3 : something resembling a pea (as in size or shape)

Illustration of pea

Illustration of pea

pea 1a

Examples of pea in a Sentence

We're growing tomatoes and peas in our garden this year.
Recent Examples on the Web Beyond, founded in 2009, processes yellow pea protein, canola oil, potato starch and other ingredients to produce patties and sausages meant to mimic the taste, appearance and feel of traditional meat. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Beyond Meat Signs Supply Deals With McDonald’s, Yum," 25 Feb. 2021 Levitating without this balancing force is like balancing a pea on the underside of a spoon. Max G. Levy, Wired, "Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light," 12 Feb. 2021 While lavender is the signature note, the syrup also contains butterfly pea blossom, which has the unique property of changing color from blue to a reddish purple when mixed with a squirt of acidic lemon or lime juice. Paul Stephen,, "San Antonio-made Bexar Tonics syrups give a puro San Antonio flair to cocktails," 15 Dec. 2020 Salad-making today feels so much more driven by passion than in the past, helped by the glorious selections of leaves at greenmarkets, from purslane to pea shoots. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "The Great American Salad Revolution," 1 Jan. 2021 Their founders predict that within a few years consumers won’t be able to tell the difference between a burger patty from a cow and one produced with pea protein, beet juice and potato starch. New York Times, "Brazil Is Famous for Its Meat. But Vegetarianism Is Soaring.," 26 Dec. 2020 By noon, parts of La Mirada looked as if they were covered in a light dusting of snow after the storm dumped pea-size hail. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Rain, hail, snow battered Southern California as powerful storm hit," 28 Dec. 2020 The small summer flowers turn to bunches of pea-sized red berries that the robins come devour at a certain point over the winter. oregonlive, "Need help hiding new neighbor’s big concrete wall? Ask an expert," 27 Dec. 2020 Keep cactus and agaves far from walkways, where someone can get poked, and stay away from groundcover that is not easily navigated with wheelchairs and walkers, such as wood chips, pea gravel and gorilla hair compost. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Demo shows how inclusive guidelines make gardening more accessible," 12 Dec. 2020

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

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for pea

back-formation from Middle English pease (taken as a plural), from Old English pise, from Latin pisa, plural of pisum, from Greek pison

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Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pea.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pea



English Language Learners Definition of pea

: a small, round, green seed that is eaten as a vegetable and that is formed in a seed case (called a pod) of a climbing plant also : a plant that produces peas


\ ˈpē How to pronounce pea (audio) \
plural peas\ ˈpēz \

Kids Definition of pea

1 : a round green seed that is eaten as a vegetable and comes from the pods of a climbing garden plant
2 : a plant (as the sweet pea) resembling or related to the garden plant that produces peas

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More from Merriam-Webster on pea

Nglish: Translation of pea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pea for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pea

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