soy·​bean | \ ˈsȯi-ˌbēn How to pronounce soybean (audio) \
variants: or less commonly soya bean \ ˈsȯi-​ə-​ How to pronounce soya bean (audio) \

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 That includes increased purchases of soybeans and other farm goods that would reach $40 billion a year. Arkansas Online, "Trump says he'll sign first-step China trade deal on Jan. 15," 1 Jan. 2020 When the Trump administration enacted tariffs on China, Beijing enacted retaliatory tariffs, some of which targeted American soybean farmers. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "We Are Not Winning the Trade War," 4 Dec. 2019 The average soybean farmer produces about 50,000 bushels each year, so a $2 drop in prices could mean a loss of about $100,000 in revenue. Musadiq Bidar, CBS News, "Iowa voters say they want to hear more from Democrats on foreign policy," 7 Oct. 2019 At the same time, the prices of corn, soybeans and winter wheat rose significantly higher than cotton, making those crops more attractive than the white buds. William Thornton |,, "Alabama cotton figures in crop’s resurgence," 15 July 2019 But for wheat, maize, and soybeans, the researchers found that the risks of crop failures in more than one breadbasket region at the same time are on the rise. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Heatwaves on multiple continents linked by jet stream tendency," 11 Dec. 2019 The American soybean lobby has incentivized Ford’s investigation of soy in rubber and other applications as well. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Ford Is Making Car Parts from McDonald's Coffee Waste," 4 Dec. 2019 Fermenting soybeans into soy sauce is an ancient tradition dating to the 1600s, and is now a mainstream condiment. Claire Perez,, "Claire’s tip of the week: Sorting out soy sauce varieties," 25 Oct. 2019 The drought comes at the end of the growing season, but is still having some impact on harvest of crops such as soybeans. Scott Dance,, "Maryland weather: Despite recent rainfall, moderate drought conditions persist across the state," 24 Oct. 2019

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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The first known use of soybean was in 1802

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Soybean.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for soybean


How to pronounce soybean (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of soybean

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


soy·​bean | \ ˈsȯi-ˌbēn How to pronounce soybean (audio) \

Kids Definition of soybean

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


soy·​bean | \ ˈsȯi-ˌbēn How to pronounce soybean (audio) \
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

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showing steady, earnest care and effort

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