American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A member of the pea family.
- n. A Eurasian climbing annual vine (Pisum sativum) cultivated in all temperate zones, having compound leaves with terminal leaflets modified into tendrils and globose, edible seeds enclosed in a green, elongated pod.
- n. The seed of this plant, used as a vegetable.
- n. The unopened pods of this plant.
- n. Any of several plants of the genus Lathyrus, such as the sweet pea or the beach pea.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The seed of an annual hardy; leguminous vine, Pisum sativum; also, the vine itself. The pea is marked by its climbing habit and glaucous surface, its pinnate leaves ending in a branching tendril, its large stipules, and its large, commonly white, papilionaceous flowers, followed by pendulous pods containing sweet nutritious seeds. The original form, P. sativum, var. arvense (P. arvense), the common gray pea or field-pea, is thought by some to be native in Greece and the Levant, by others to hare come from further north. Peas were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and their cultivation is now general. Usually only the seeds are edible, but the pods of the sugar-pea, skinless pea, or string-pea are eaten, as in the case of “string-beans.” The seeds are now mostly consumed when green, but are also split when ripe, and used in soups or ground into meal. (See
pease-meal.) Before the spread of the potato, peas formed in England a principal food of the working classes. The varieties are very numerous, those of the marrow class being distinguished by seeds which are wrinkled and greenish even when ripe.
- n. Pea-spawn of a fish. See spawn.
- n. plural Canned peas prepared in France, reputed to be superior to those canned in other countries.
- n. Heisteria coccinea (French pois perdrix). See Heisteria.
- n. A peafowl. The simple form pea is rare. It occurs chiefly in the compound names peacock, peahen, peafowl, pea-chick, pea-pheasant. In the second quotation pea is restricted to ‘peahen.’
- n. In the manufacture of sulphuric acid, the workman's name for a fragment of iron pyrites, from an eighth to a half inch in diameter.
- n. The balance or sliding weight used on a steelyard.
- n. In the West Indies, Dolichos sphærospermus. Both of the plants bear white beans having a black spot around the hilum.
- n. A plant, member of the legume (Fabaceae) family
- n. The edible seed of some of these plants
- n. baseball A ball travelling at high velocity
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The sliding weight on a steelyard.
- n. (Naut.) See peak, n., 3.
- n. (Bot.) A plant, and its fruit, of the genus Pisum, of many varieties, much cultivated for food. It has a papilionaceous flower, and the pericarp is a legume, popularly called a pod.
- n. A name given, especially in the Southern States, to the seed of several leguminous plants (species of Dolichos, Cicer, Abrus, etc.) esp. those having a scar (
hilum) of a different color from the rest of the seed.
- n. a leguminous plant of the genus Pisum with small white flowers and long green pods containing edible green seeds
- n. seed of a pea plant used for food
- n. the fruit or seed of a pea plant
- Back-formation from pease, originally an uncountable noun meaning "peas" that was construed as a plural. (Wiktionary)
- Back-formation from Middle English pease (mistaken for pl.), from Old English pise, piose, from Late Latin pīsa, variant of Latin pīsum, from Greek pisos, pison. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“How exciting to be invited to come to the White House, see 'the garden' (new meaning to the term pea-green with envy) as the fabulous first lady drafted us all into the service of our country's children to ensure their healthy future.”
“Among the roots, it mentions _Openauk_, which must have been what we call the pea-nut, which is now largely cultivated along that coast, and is quite an article of commerce.”
“My sweet little pea is now 7 months old and very alive.”
“Any Aussie pie of your choice, covered in pea soup made by Madeleine the Crepe Lady (a little old French lady who makes crepes in the same Internet Cafe).”
“It can be jarring in pea soup to have a jolt of capsiacin heat.”
“I like them in pea soup – they are sweet, but more complexly flavored than carrots, which adds another level of flavor to the entire dish.”
“In 1965, fifty companies embarked, in pea soup secrecy, upon a historic search for gas under the North Sea.”
“Everybody exclaimed over this: "Surely there was no danger in pea-nuts!”
“We have to go back to the voters and convince them, ‘you still can’t sleep because the goddamn pea is killing you.’”
“Also, some stores sell a small grey seed, a bit smaller than a pea, that is a brilliant yellow when broken open and can be used the same way since it doesn't seem to have any flavor that I can discern.”
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