\ ˈvech How to pronounce vetch (audio) \

Definition of vetch

: any of a genus (Vicia) of herbaceous twining leguminous plants including some grown for fodder and green manure — compare crown vetch, hairy vetch, milk vetch

Illustration of vetch

Illustration of vetch

Examples of vetch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bird vetch was called out by one reader and butter and eggs by another. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Think rabbits are plaguing your garden? You’re off by a hare.," 18 June 2020 Cover crops further bolster the carbon-​farming lifestyle. Sown to enrich the soil rather than for harvest, plants like clovers, vetch, and various inedible radishes and ryegrasses are among the most common. Brian Barth, Popular Science, "The secret to curbing farm emissions is buried in the Stone Age," 1 Apr. 2020 Others were not so: the golden plumes of lady’s bedstraw, or the yellow-and-white buttons of the kidney vetch, or a tiny lemon yellow viola hiding within the tapestry. Washington Post, "Exploring the rich grasslands, meadows and wildflowers of Scotland’s Western Isles," 18 Oct. 2019 Winter rye, vetch and clovers, sown now, are green manures that will crowd out winter weeds. Washington Post, "Whether or not Roundup is safe, the gardener has better options," 18 Sep. 2019 Others were not so: the golden plumes of lady's bedstraw, or the yellow-and-white buttons of the kidney vetch, or a tiny lemon yellow viola hiding within the tapestry. Adrian Higgins,, "Exploring the wild beauty of Scotland’s Western Isles," 18 Oct. 2019 By the time spring unfolds, the later-blooming types are covered in vetch. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "Best way to prevent weeds? Keep your grass healthy," 20 Apr. 2018 For the typical home vegetable gardener, the best cover crops are often legumes such as winter peas, fava beans, clovers or vetches. Ciscoe Morris, The Seattle Times, "A bountiful spring vegetable harvest starts this fall," 30 Aug. 2017 Honeybees work the long tassels of vetch flowers readily. Alaska Dispatch News, "Readers write: Letters to the editor, August 14, 2017," 14 Aug. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vetch

Middle English fecche, veche, from Middle French dialect (Norman & Picard) veche, from Latin vicia; perhaps akin to Latin vincire to bind

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Time Traveler for vetch

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The first known use of vetch was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Vetch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce vetch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vetch

: a plant that has small flowers and is used to feed farm animals

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