\ 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 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 Common choices include grasses and legumes such as hairy vetch and clover. Irene Wanner, The Seattle Times, "UW professor digs in to our problem of soil degradation in ‘Growing a Revolution’," 5 May 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vetch

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vetch.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for vetch


How to pronounce vetch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vetch

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

More from Merriam-Webster on vetch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vetch Encyclopedia article about vetch

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a period of high artistic development

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