noun, often attributive
\ ˈpē How to pronounce pea (audio) \
plural peas also pease\ ˈpēz How to pronounce pease (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 termchickpeablack-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 Although the experiment was not successfully repeated and winter pea crops later failed, Lysenko learned a valuable lesson in propaganda. Sean B. Carroll, The Atlantic, "The Molecular Biologist Who Exposed the Soviet Union," 6 Oct. 2020 Native to Southeast Asia, the butterfly pea plant (Clitoria ternatea) has edible leaves that are often dried or ground into a powder. Dallas News, "The butterfly effect: 5 recipes using blue flower magic," 30 Sep. 2020 The front did bring some storms, including reports of pea-sized hail in Hammond, but those systems have been challenged by drier air and have not developed into larger threats, Roberts said. Jeff Adelson,, "Cold front bringing cooler weather to the New Orleans area this week," 28 Sep. 2020 Among the available fare are a drink called the mad scientist (gin, butterfly pea flower extract, changing colors) and a pumpkin old-fashioned that’s smoked. Dewayne Bevil,, "Gaylord Palms juggles ghost stories and giggles for resort’s Halloween activities," 18 Sep. 2020 Popular items include bhajjis, like fritters; missal, a spicy bean dish; ragda, a spicy pea stew; chose bhature, chickpea curry served with a fluffy bread and matar paneer, a rich curry with peas and paneer cheese. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, "Indian celebrity chef opens Irving restaurant," 17 Sep. 2020 Add small pieces of recycled glass to pea gravel for a little shimmer. Sunset Magazine, "17 Landscaping and Design Ideas for Added Curb Appeal," 11 Sep. 2020 In 1936, photographer Dorothea Lange made headlines with her stunning portrait of Florence Owens Thompson, a 32-year old pea picker in Nipomo, California. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Explore Dorothea Lange’s Iconic Photos With These Online Exhibitions," 11 Aug. 2020 Think a pea gravel and paver patio combined with native plants that will thrive in the existing condition. Jessica Dailey, House Beautiful, "The Real Costs to Build 5 Different Backyard Retreats," 13 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pea

Statistics for pea

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pea.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pea


How to pronounce pea (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on pea

What made you want to look up pea? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!