from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various twining herbs of the genus Phaseolus in the pea family, native to the Americas, having leaves with three leaflets and variously colored flowers, and widely cultivated for their edible pods and seeds.
  • noun A seed or pod of any of these plants.
  • noun Any of several related plants or their seeds or pods, such as the adzuki bean, broad bean, or soybean.
  • noun Any of various other plants or their seeds or fruits, especially those suggestive of beans such as the coffee bean or vanilla bean.
  • noun Slang A person's head.
  • noun Slang A small amount.
  • noun Chiefly British A fellow; a chap.
  • transitive verb To hit (another) on the head with a thrown object, especially a pitched baseball.
  • idiom (full of beans) Energetic; frisky.
  • idiom (full of beans) Badly mistaken.
  • idiom (spill the beans) To disclose a secret.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See bein.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The plant producing beans.
  • noun A small oval or roundish seed, berry, nut, or lump: as, a coffee-bean.
  • noun plural In coal-mining, small coals; specifically, coals which will pass through a screen with half-inch meshes.
  • noun plural Money.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A name given to the seed of certain leguminous herbs, chiefly of the genera Faba, Phaseolus, and Dolichos; also, to the herbs.
  • noun The popular name of other vegetable seeds or fruits, more or less resembling true beans.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a plant louse (Aphis fabæ) which infests the bean plant.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a fly found on bean flowers.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a species of goose (Anser segetum).
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small weevil that in the larval state destroys beans. The American species is Bruchus fabæ.
  • noun (Bot.) the seed of Mucuna urens, a West Indian plant. The seeds are washed up on the Florida shore, and are often polished and made into ornaments.
  • noun (Bot.) a species of Strychnos.
  • noun the common dried white bean of commerce; probably so called because an important article of food in the navy.
  • noun a very small and highly esteemed variety of the edible white bean; -- so called from its size.
  • noun See under Sacred.
  • noun See under Screw.
  • noun A red bean of unknown species used for ornament.
  • noun the fragrant seed of Dipteryx odorata, a leguminous tree.
  • noun See under Vanilla.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun any of various edible seeds of plants of the family Leguminosae used for food
  • noun any of various seeds or fruits that are beans or resemble beans
  • noun informal terms for a human head
  • noun any of various leguminous plants grown for their edible seeds and pods
  • verb 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; see bha-bhā- in Indo-European roots.]

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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    July 13, 2009