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

  • noun A large family of plants, the Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), characterized by stipulate, usually compound leaves and often bilaterally symmetrical flowers that develop into pods, and including alfalfa, beans, clovers, peas, and soybeans. Many species contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root nodules.

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

  • noun a large family of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs bearing bean pods; divided for convenience into the subfamilies Caesalpiniaceae; Mimosaceae; Papilionaceae


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