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

  • n. A Eurasian plant (Foeniculum vulgare) having pinnate leaves, clusters of small yellow flowers grouped in umbels, and aromatic seeds used as flavoring.
  • n. The edible seeds or stalks of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant, Foeniculum vulgare, of the parsley family.
  • n. The bulb, leaves, or stalks of the plant, eaten as a vegetable.
  • n. The seeds of the fennel plant used as a spice in cooking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A perennial plant of the genus Fæniculum (Fæniculum vulgare), having very finely divided leaves. It is cultivated in gardens for the agreeable aromatic flavor of its seeds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An aromatic umbelliferous plant, Fœniculum vulgare, a native of southern Europe and common in cultivation.
  • n. A name of certain plants of other genera. See below.

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

  • n. aromatic bulbous stem base eaten cooked or raw in salads
  • n. any of several aromatic herbs having edible seeds and leaves and stems
  • n. fennel seeds are ground and used as a spice or as an ingredient of a spice mixture
  • n. leaves used for seasoning


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

Middle English fenel, from Old English fenol, from Latin fēnuculum, variant of faeniculum, diminutive of faenum, fēnum, hay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Middle English fenel, from the Old English finuᵹl, finule (weak feminine forms); fenol, finul (masculine forms), from the Vulgar Latin fēnuclum, fēnoclum, fenuculum, from the Classical Latin faeniculum, a diminutive form of faenum ("hay"); compare the Italian finocchio, the Occitan fenolh, the Old French fenoil (whence the Modern French fenouil), and the Spanish hinojo.



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  • Usage/historical note on sacrament.

    December 6, 2016

  • "The Greek name for fennel is marathon (μάραθον) or marathos (μάραθος), and the place of the famous battle of Marathon (whence Marathon, the subsequent sports event), literally means a plain with fennels."

    -- from Wikipedia (

    February 18, 2015

  • Fennel stalks are tools used by the forces of Good/Light (Benandanti) in the mythology (and practice) of Italian witchcraft or Strega in their "night battles" against the forces of Evil/Darkness (Malandanti) who use sorghum stalks, for control of the crops at the solstices.

    Prometheus smuggled fire from the Gods to humanity inside a giant fennel stalk

    February 23, 2008