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[fuh-lah-fuh l] /fəˈlɑ fəl/
noun, Middle Eastern Cookery.
an appetizer or snack consisting of a small croquette made with fava-bean flour or ground chick peas, seasoned with toasted sesame seeds and salt, often served in pita bread.
Also, falafil, felafel.
Origin of falafel
1950-55; < Arabic falāfil, derivative of filfil pepper Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for falafel
  • The falafel shop next door was doing a brisk business.
  • The city is home to a strong food truck culture serving up everything from falafel to waffles at affordable prices.
  • House specials include the osman pasha combo--a platter of kabob, pesto noodles and falafel.
  • Popular items among locals include the lemon chicken soup, falafel and kebabs served over tomato infused bulgur rice.
  • Spiced chickpeas, stuffed green chilies and falafel are among the vegetarian offerings.
  • Vegetarian options include the combination plate with falafel, hummus and roasted eggplant spread.
  • Crushed skinned broad beans are made into a paste mixed with spices and parsley to make falafel.
  • Hummus and falafel are dishes based on recipes that change from village to village, sometimes from household to household.
  • The falafel is moist and bursting with mint, the roasted eggplant purée chunky and lush.
British Dictionary definitions for falafel


a ball or cake of ground spiced chickpeas, deep-fried and often served with pitta bread
Word Origin
C20: from Arabic felāfil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for falafel

by 1951 as a traveler's word, not common or domestic in English until 1970s; from Arabic falafil, said to mean "crunchy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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