alfalfa

[al-fal-fuh]
noun
a plant, Medicago sativa, of the legume family, usually having bluish-purple flowers, originating in the Near East and widely cultivated as a forage crop.
Also called lucerne, purple medic.


Origin:
1835–45; < Spanish, variant of alfalfez < Spanish Arabic al the + faṣfaṣah < Persian ispist lucerne

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alfalfa (ælˈfælfə)
 
n
Also called: lucerne a leguminous plant, Medicago sativa, of Europe and Asia, having compound leaves with three leaflets and clusters of small purplish flowers. It is widely cultivated for forage and as a nitrogen fixer and used as a commercial source of chlorophyll
 
[C19: from Spanish, from Arabic al-fasfasah, from al the + fasfasah the best sort of fodder]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

alfalfa
1845, from Sp. alfalfa, earlier alfalfez, from Arabic al-fisfisa "fresh fodder."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for alfalfa
Many dairy farms also grow their own feed, typically including corn, alfalfa, and hay.
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