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[let-is] /ˈlɛt ɪs/
a cultivated plant, Lactuca sativa, occurring in many varieties and having succulent leaves used for salads.
any species of Lactuca.
Slang. U.S. dollar bills; greenbacks.
Origin of lettuce
1250-1300; 1925-30 for def 3; Middle English letuse, apparently < Old French laitues, plural of laitue < Latin lactūca a lettuce, perhaps derivative of lac, stem lact- milk, with termination as in erūca rocket2 (or by association with Greek galaktoûchos having milk) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lettuce
  • Growing your own salad greens trumps buying grocery lettuce any day.
  • The greenhouse begins its work by germinating seeds of four lettuce types and one basil variety in plastic bins.
  • In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing and the croutons.
  • Those who have tried to thaw frozen heads of lettuce know that the results are typically soggy and limp.
  • Ingredients for cream of lettuce soup, risotto with radicchio, and peach sorbet are handpicked from the organic kitchen garden.
  • Place a spoonful of the vegetable mixture and the shredded chicken onto each leaf of lettuce.
  • Add the peas, lettuce and stock or water, and bring to a boil.
  • Who'd have thought you could feel bloated and full because of too much lettuce.
  • Arrange the lettuce on a platter or in a shallow bowl.
  • Toss some leaves with chopped butter lettuce and thinly sliced red onion.
British Dictionary definitions for lettuce


any of various plants of the genus Lactuca, esp L. sativa, which is cultivated in many varieties for its large edible leaves: family Asteraceae (composites)
the leaves of any of these varieties, which are eaten in salads
any of various plants that resemble true lettuce, such as lamb's lettuce and sea lettuce
Word Origin
C13: probably from Old French laitues, pl of laitue, from Latin lactūca, from lac- milk, because of its milky juice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lettuce

late 13c., probably from Old French laitues, plural of laitue "lettuce," from Latin lactuca "lettuce," from lac (genitive lactis) "milk" (see lactation); so called for the milky juice of the plant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for lettuce



Money, esp paper money; cabbage: That's a lot of lettuce/ the man who nipped all this lettuce from the Playboy patch (1929+)

Related Terms

folding money

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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