from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Ground spiced chickpeas shaped into balls and fried.
  • n. A sandwich filled with such a mixture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Middle Eastern food in the form of balls made from chickpeas and other ingredients. Often served in a pita.
  • n. A pita with falafel balls inside.
  • n. A single falafel ball.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small croquette of mashed chick peas or fava beans seasoned with sesame seeds


Arabic falāfil, pl. of filfil, pepper, probably from Sanskrit pippalī; see pepper.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Arabic فلافل (falaafil), the plural of فلفل (filfil, "pepper"). (Wiktionary)


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  • What does falafel taste like? Here's a brief description.

    August 12, 2009

  • It took me a day of saying that before I finally got it, chained_bear.

    October 28, 2008

  • Some falafel are very yummy indeed. I especially like when they make them crunchy, like (Italian?) meatballs.

    October 28, 2008

  • Haha!

    My fellow Wordies are correct, jenn. Sorry you had an awful falafel.

    October 28, 2008

  • My favorite get-well card has a picture of a pita on the front and the text, "Falafel?"

    Inside it says "Well... feel better, okay?"

    October 27, 2008

  • It surely was not a proper falafel, then.

    October 27, 2008

  • It wasn't one of those packet-mix ones, was it? Not up to scratch.

    October 27, 2008

  • Finally had falafel tonight. Doesn't qualify as fried goodness in my book. :(

    October 27, 2008