soy·​bean | \ˈsȯi-ˌbēn \
variants: or less commonly soya bean \ˈsȯi-​ə-​ \

Definition of soybean 

: a hairy annual Asian legume (Glycine max) widely grown for its oil-rich proteinaceous seeds and for forage and soil improvement also : its seed

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Illustration of soybean

Examples of soybean in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, the state’s farmers have split over Mr. Trump’s trade policy and the tariffs levied in retaliation, which have pushed down soybean prices and are expected to depress farm income. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Heitkamp Takes a Familiar Role in North Dakota Senate Race: Underdog," 1 Nov. 2018 Already, soybean prices have plunged as a result, according to Kevin McNew, chief economist at the Farmer’s Business Network. Corilyn Shropshire,, "Rough week for Illinois businesses as more tariffs loom," 2 July 2018 Since 2004, food manufacturers in the U.S. have been required by law to label eight major allergens on their packaging: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat and soybeans—but not sesame. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "FDA Considers Making Food Labels Disclose Sesame to Help Allergy Sufferers," 12 Nov. 2018 China’s retaliatory tariffs have made imported soybeans and meat more expensive in a country that depends on imports for many of its food needs. Ailin Tang, The Seattle Times, "The trade war’s latest casualties: China’s coddled cats and dogs," 23 Oct. 2018 Crops such as soybeans are often genetically modified to not be affected by Roundup, which allows the herbicide to be sprayed on fields and kill weeds without killing the crop. Matthew Berger, Fox News, "Can using weed killer give you cancer?," 27 Aug. 2018 Leghemoglobin is an iron-containing protein pulled from soybean roots that’s similar to hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "PETA roasts Impossible Burger for rat tests, suggests patties cause cancer," 11 Aug. 2018 And prices for soybeans have reached their lowest levels in 10 years. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "China just warned it would hit back at Trump with even more tariffs," 3 Aug. 2018 But taking supplements made with the compounds in soybean? Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "Is Soy Good or Bad for You? Here's the Science-Backed Answer," 18 July 2018

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

1802, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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The first known use of soybean was in 1802

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More Definitions for soybean



English Language Learners Definition of soybean

: the bean of an Asian plant that contains a large amount of protein and that is used as a food


soy·​bean | \ˈsȯi-ˌbēn \

Kids Definition of soybean

: the edible seed of an Asian plant that is rich in protein


soy·​bean | \ˈsȯi-ˌbēn \
variants: also soya bean

Medical Definition of soybean 

: a hairy annual Asian legume (Glycine max) grown for its oil-rich proteinaceous seeds and for forage and soil improvement also : its seed

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More from Merriam-Webster on soybean

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with soybean

Spanish Central: Translation of soybean

Nglish: Translation of soybean for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on soybean

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a nest or breeding place

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