plantain

noun (1)
plan·​tain | \ ˈplan-tᵊn How to pronounce plantain (audio) \

Definition of plantain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a genus (Plantago of the family Plantaginaceae, the plantain family) of herbs with basal rosettes of usually lanceolate or elliptical leaves and spikes of minute greenish flowers

plantain

noun (2)
plan·​tain | \ plan-ˈtān How to pronounce plantain (audio) , ˈplan-ˌtān, ˈplan-tᵊn \

Definition of plantain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the angular greenish starchy fruit of the plantain that is a staple food in the tropics when cooked
2 : a banana plant (Musa paradisiaca)

First Known Use of plantain

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plantain

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin plantagin-, plantago, from planta sole of the foot; from its broad leaves — more at place

Noun (2)

Spanish plántano, plátano plane tree, banana tree, from Medieval Latin plantanus plane tree, alteration of Latin platanus — more at plane entry 4

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plantain

Time Traveler for plantain

Time Traveler

The first known use of plantain was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for plantain

Cite this Entry

“Plantain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plantain. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plantain

plantain

noun
plan·​tain | \ ˈplan-tᵊn How to pronounce plantain (audio) \

Kids Definition of plantain

: the greenish fruit of a kind of banana plant that is eaten cooked and is larger, less sweet, and more starchy than the ordinary banana

plantain

noun
plan·​tain | \ ˈplant-ᵊn How to pronounce plantain (audio) \

Medical Definition of plantain

: any plant of the genus Plantago

More from Merriam-Webster on plantain

Nglish: Translation of plantain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about plantain

Comments on plantain

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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