Definitions

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

  • n. A pod, such as that of a pea or bean, that splits into two valves with the seeds attached to one edge of the valves.
  • n. Such a pod or seed used as food.
  • n. A plant of the pea family.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The fruit or seed of leguminous plants (as peas or beans) used for food.
  • n. Any of a large family (Leguminosae syn. Fabaceae) of dicotyledonous herbs, shrubs, and trees having fruits that are legumes or loments, bearing nodules on the roots that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and including important food and forage plants (as peas, beans, or clovers).
  • n. A pod dehiscent into two pieces or valves, and having the seed attached at one suture, as that of the pea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pod dehiscent into two pieces or valves, and having the seed attached at one suture, as that of the pea.
  • n. The fruit of leguminous plants, as peas, beans, lupines; pulse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. plural The fruit of leguminous plants of the pea kind; pulse.
  • n. A pod formed of a simple pistil, which is dehiscent by both sutures and so divides into two valves, the seeds being borne at the inner or ventral suture only.

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

  • n. an erect or climbing bean or pea plant of the family Leguminosae
  • n. the fruit or seed of any of various bean or pea plants consisting of a case that splits along both sides when ripe and having the seeds attach to one side of the case
  • n. the seedpod of a leguminous plant (such as peas or beans or lentils)

Etymologies

French légume, from Latin legūmen, bean.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French légume, from Latin legūmen ("bean"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He can't help but look around, distracted by the vendors selling cooking oil and the mashed vegetable stew called "legume," the rum stands and the ubiquitous lottery shops where impoverished Haitians place tiny quixotic bets.

    In Haiti's shattered capital, metal scavengers take to the streets

  • Then it didnt even have half the words such as legume and glycogen.

    sierrazen Diary Entry

  • As the application of fertilizers is not always economical in the semi-arid tropics of Niger, non-fertilizer-based methods to improve soil conditions, such as legume use, deserve special attention.

    1. Soil constraints on sustainable plant production in the tropics.

  • I particularly like the combination of cannellini beans and dark leafy vegetables such as the kale I used today, but any kind of legume such as kidney beans, chickpeas or even lentils would be delicious in this recipe.

    TreeHugger

  • Meat alternatives like plant food such as legume, nuts and beancurd they also provide the same vitamins and minerals that you can get from meat products.

    ReadABlog.com New Blogs and RSS Feeds

  • "The legume has been a popular food since ancient days.

    The Political Briefing

  • Even as plantations of Brazilian rubber take over tropical forests in Southeast Asia, plantations of soybeans, a Chinese legume, are replacing almost 80,000 square miles of the southern Amazon, an area almost the size of Britain.

    The Real Story of Globalization

  • If in the unforeseeable but likely event that we will find ourselves in similar circumstances such as the ones we've survived heroically, and through divine intervention or bad luck or both are offered this vert legume, promise me, this, love.

    Sunshine Loop

  • A switch to legume-dominated forests and grasslands would be a truly major ecological switch (most grasslands today are, if I recall correctly, not more than 10-20% legume) and result in the extinction of untold numbers of life forms.

    Matthew Yglesias » Today in Pessimism

  • A quick-cooking legume, dried black-eyed peas cook up in about 40 minutes.

    Redfish with Black-Eyed-Pea Ragout and Mushrooms

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Comments

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  • On a family excursion into the sagebrush desert of the western US we happened upon a huge flock of sheep that had been poisoned by grazing on loco-weed, the small herbaceous legume, Astragalus spp.. The Basque sheepherder asked if my father had a gun (he didn't). I watched my father and the herder, with knives, put out of their misery dozens of ewes and lambs who were violently convulsing. A powerful image and memory from my youth that lives with me today.

    December 6, 2010

  • Not all of them.

    December 6, 2010

  • A plant such as beans. Legumes are healthy foods.

    December 6, 2010