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

  • n. Any of various New World twining herbs of the genus Phaseolus in the pea family, having leaves with three leaflets, variously colored flowers, and edible pods and seeds.
  • n. A seed or pod of any of these plants.
  • n. Any of several related plants or their seeds or pods, such as the adzuki bean, broad bean, or soybean.
  • n. Any of various other plants or their seeds or fruits, especially those suggestive of beans, such as the coffee bean or the vanilla bean.
  • n. Slang A person's head.
  • n. Slang A small amount: I don't know beans about investing.
  • n. Chiefly British A fellow; a chap.
  • transitive v. Slang To hit (another) on the head with a thrown object, especially a pitched baseball.
  • idiom full of beans Energetic; frisky: The children were too full of beans to sit still.
  • idiom full of beans Badly mistaken: Don't believe him; he's full of beans.
  • idiom spill the beans To disclose a secret.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The large edible seed of plants of several genera of Fabaceae.
  • n. The seed pod of plants of several genera of Fabaceae.
  • n. A bean-like seed of some other plants, especially coffee; coffee in the general.
  • n. Stuffing for beanbags and similar items, often made from plastic and resembling a pea or bean in shape.
  • n. The head or brain.
  • n. A guinea coin.
  • n. Money.
  • n. The clitoris.
  • v. To hit deliberately with a projectile, especially in the head.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A name given to the seed of certain leguminous herbs, chiefly of the genera Faba, Phaseolus, and Dolichos; also, to the herbs.
  • n. The popular name of other vegetable seeds or fruits, more or less resembling true beans.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See bein.
  • n. Originally and properly, a smooth kidney-shaped seed, flattened at the sides, borne in long pods by a leguminous plant, Vicia Faba; now extended to include the seed of the allied genus Phaseolus, and, with a specific epithet, of other genera.
  • n. The plant producing beans.
  • n. A small oval or roundish seed, berry, nut, or lump: as, a coffee-bean.
  • n. plural In coal-mining, small coals; specifically, coals which will pass through a screen with half-inch meshes.
  • n. plural Money.
  • n. The seed of the bean-tree or Moreton Hay chestnut, Castanospermum australe, which, though poisonous when green, is rendered harmless by cooking and forms part of the diet of the aborigines.

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

  • n. any of various edible seeds of plants of the family Leguminosae used for food
  • n. any of various seeds or fruits that are beans or resemble beans
  • n. informal terms for a human head
  • n. any of various leguminous plants grown for their edible seeds and pods
  • v. hit on the head, especially with a pitched baseball


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

Middle English ben, broad bean, from Old English bēan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bene, from Old English bēan ("bean, pea, legume"), from Proto-Germanic *baunō (“bean”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhabh- (“bean”). Cognate with Scots bene, bein ("bean"), West Frisian bean ("bean"), Dutch boon ("bean"), German Bohne ("bean"), Danish bønne ("bean"), Icelandic baun ("bean"), Latin faba ("bean"), Russian боб (bob, "bean").



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  • Means "woman" in Gaelic.

    July 13, 2009