Definitions

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

  • adjective Suitable for eating; edible.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Eatable; edible; fit to be used for food: as, esculent plants; esculent fish.
  • Furnishing an edible product: as, the esculent swift (a bird, Collocalia esculenta, whose nests are eaten in soup).
  • noun Something that is eatable; that which is or may be used as food. Specifically
  • noun In common use, an edible vegetable, especially one that may be used as a condiment without cooking.

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

  • noun Anything that is fit for eating; that which may be safely eaten by man.
  • adjective Suitable to be used by man for food; eatable; edible
  • adjective (Zoöl.) the swallow which makes the edible bird's-nest. See Edible bird's-nest, under Edible.

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

  • adjective Edible.
  • noun Something edible; a comestible.

Etymologies

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

[Latin ēsculentus, from ēsca, food, from edere, ēs-, to eat; see ed- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin esculentus, from esca ("food").

Examples

  • It is respecting a foreign species of _hirundines_, called the esculent martin.

    Domestic Pleasures, or, the Happy Fire-side

  • The bird is called the esculent swallow, and the trade in this strange article of diet is a very large one.

    Swiss Family Robinson

  • The principal vegetables are Badanjan (Egg-plant), the Bamiyah (a kind of esculent hibiscus, called Bhendi in India), and Mulukhiyah

    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah

  • _Vincennes_, about three miles from the fauxbourg _Saint Antoine_, and is likewise celebrated for its grapes, strawberries, all sorts of wall fruit, pease, and every kind of esculent vegetables.

    A Trip to Paris in July and August 1792

  • _Gabi_ (_Caladium_) is another kind of esculent root, palatable to the natives, similar to the turnip, and throws up stalks from 1 to 3 feet high, at the end of which is an almost round leaf, dark green, from 3 to 5 inches diameter at maturity.

    The Philippine Islands

  • And lastly you, gastronomers of 1825, who already find satiety in the lap of abundance, and dream of new preparations, you will not enjoy those discoveries which the sciences have in store for the year 1900, such as esculent minerals and liqueurs resulting from a pressure of a hundred atmospheres; you will not behold the importations which travelers yet unborn shall cause to arrive from that half of the globe which still remains to be discovered or explored.

    Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 6

  • I think of these guys as the nerds of the foodyard, esculent equivalents of the brilliant, sensitive child that the grownups made the mistake of praising to the rest of the class.

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • Then consider what victual or esculent things there are, which grow speedily, and within the year; as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Hierusalem, maize, and the like.

    The Essays

  • Edible algae as well as higher plants that are manipulated so that they are esculent as a whole are cultivated there.

    Boing Boing: May 9, 2004 - May 15, 2004 Archives

  • This animal, from the excellence of its flesh, would be appropriate to our own country; and as there is also a splendid esculent frog nearly as large as a chicken, it would no doubt tend to perpetuate the present alliance if we made a gift of that to France.

    Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa

Comments

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  • Suitable for eating; edible. (From WordCraft)

    May 20, 2008

  • "Canned corn, when simply stewed, is a wretched substitute for that most delicious and succulent of American esculents—green maize on the ear."

    —Susan Williams, Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts: Dining in Victorian America (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), 254

    May 4, 2010