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 Add chilled butter and continue to mix on lowest speed until pea-sized pieces form, about 5 minutes. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Socializing on the Fourth of July? What event pros know to make your party safer," 30 June 2020 And don't be shy when chopping these babies up; the chewy muscles can tend towards toughness when left in pieces larger than a pea. Kat Craddock, Saveur, "Rhode Island Clamcakes—Yes, Crisp Clam Doughnuts—Are the Perfect Taste of Summer," 10 June 2016 Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, "Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough.," 22 June 2020 Go ahead and carefully squeeze a tiny ball (no bigger than a pea) of thermal paste onto the silicon square on your processor. Jess Grey, Wired, "Want a Better PC? Try Building Your Own," 7 June 2020 The tumors can be pea-sized up to several inches in diameter, spread to internal organs, and are more prominent in the fall and winter. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "10 Common Parasites and Diseases Found in Game Fish (and What You Need to Know About Them)," 27 May 2020 For more than a century, tourism and fudge shops have gone together like peas and carrots. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "The Reason Every American Tourist Attraction Sells Fudge," 13 May 2020 Similarly, fresh corn kernels and small frozen vegetables like peas and chopped carrots need just a few moments to thaw and come up to temperature in hot soup. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Here are 5 tips for how to make instant ramen better," 27 Mar. 2020 Words and pictures don’t compete so much as keep each other company—like peas in a pod. Laura Mallonee, Wired, "Can You Spot the Idioms in These Photographs?," 2 Mar. 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

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pea.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on pea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pea

Spanish Central: Translation of pea

Nglish: Translation of pea for Spanish Speakers

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

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