sesame

play
noun ses·a·me \ˈse-sə-mē also ˈse-zə-\

Definition of sesame

  1. 1 :  a widely cultivated chiefly tropical or subtropical annual erect herb (Sesamum indicum of the family Pedaliaceae); also :  its small seeds used especially as a source of oil and a flavoring agent

  2. 2 :  open sesame

Recent Examples of sesame from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sesame'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of sesame

Origin and Etymology of sesame

alteration of earlier sesam, sesama, from Latin sesamum, sesama, from Greek sēsamon, sēsamē, of Semitic origin; akin to Akkadian šamaššamu sesame


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Seed Plant Terms


SESAME Defined for English Language Learners

sesame

play
noun

Definition of sesame for English Language Learners

  • : a plant that is grown in warm regions and that produces small flat seeds that are used in cooking and as a source of oil


Medical Dictionary

sesame

play play
noun ses·a·me \ˈses-ə-mē also ˈsez-\

Medical Definition of sesame

  1. :  a widely cultivated annual erect herb (Sesamum indicum synonym S. orientale of the family Pedaliaceae); also :  its small somewhat flat seeds used as a source of sesame oil and a flavoring agent



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

clear to the understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

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!