fennel

[fen-l]
noun
1.
a plant, Foeniculum vulgare, of the parsley family, having feathery leaves and umbels of small, yellow flowers.
2.
Also, fennel seed. the aromatic fruits of this plant, used in cookery and medicine.
3.
any of various more or less similar plants, as Ferula communis (giant fennel) a tall, ornamental plant.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English fenel, Old English fenol, variant of finu(g)l < Vulgar Latin *fenuclum, for Latin fēniculum, faeniculum, equivalent to faeni- (combining form of faenum hay) + -culum -cle1

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World English Dictionary
fennel (ˈfɛnəl)
 
n
1.  See also finocchio a strong-smelling yellow-flowered umbelliferous plant, Foeniculum vulgare, whose seeds and feathery leaves are used to season and flavour food
2.  another name for mayweed
 
[Old English fenol, from Latin faeniculum fennel, diminutive of faenum hay]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fennel
O.E. fenol, finugl, from V.L. fenuculum, from L. feniculum, from fenum "hay," probably lit. "produce" (see fecund). Apparently so called from its hay-like appearance and sweet odor.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He was tasting my food and telling me there was fennel in it.
Dishes include ricotta gnocchi with sausage and fennel, spaghetti carbonara and
  fluke with spinach and shallots.
To browse photos of fennel and recipes that use it as an ingredient, click here.
Cook your mussels in one pot with garlic, fennel seeds, and white wine while
  your linguine cooks in another pot.
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