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[leek] /lik/
a plant, Allium ampeloprasum, of the amaryllis family, allied to the onion, having a cylindrical bulb and leaves used in cookery.
any of various allied species.
Origin of leek
before 1000; Middle English; Old English lēac; cognate with German Lauch, Old Norse laukr
Can be confused
leak, leek. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for leeks
  • Comfort food includes pea soup, sausage and mash, smoked haddock with creamed leeks.
  • Meanwhile, cut off and discard root ends and dark green tops from leeks.
  • These musky springtime cousins of leeks and garlic have a short season, and are thought to grow only in the wild.
  • Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, then lift out and drain well.
  • It was preceded by warm leeks in vinaigrette and accompanied by deliciously buttery sautéed potatoes and a huge salad.
  • Sweat the onion, add the leeks and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • The simple recipe involves lightly pan frying finely chopped leeks with flour and salt and then adding milk to thicken it.
  • Ramps are an acquired taste: the flavor has been described as similar to leeks, scallions or garlic.
  • Place the leeks onto of the cheese, and then arrange the asparagus in a single layer over the leeks, alternating ends and tips.
  • Long-term storage of cabbage, celery, and leeks under controlled atmosphere.
British Dictionary definitions for leeks


Also called scallion. an alliaceous plant, Allium porrum, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem, and broad flat overlapping leaves: used in cooking
any of several related species, such as A. ampeloprasum (wild leek)
a leek, or a representation of one, as a national emblem of Wales
Word Origin
Old English lēac; related to Old Norse laukr, Old High German louh
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 leeks



culinary herb, Old English læc (Mercian), leac (West Saxon) "leek, onion, garlic," from Proto-Germanic *lauka- (cf. Old Norse laukr "leek, garlic," Danish løg, Swedish lök "onion," Old Saxon lok "leek," Middle Dutch looc, Dutch look "leek, garlic," Old High German louh, German Lauch "leek"). No known cognates; Finnish laukka, Russian luk-, Old Church Slavonic luku are borrowed from Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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leeks in the Bible

(Heb. hatsir; the Allium porrum), rendered "grass" in 1 Kings 18:5, 2 Kings 19:26, Job 40:15, etc.; "herb" in Job 8:12; "hay" in Prov. 27:25, and Isa. 15:6; "leeks" only in Num. 11:5. This Hebrew word seems to denote in this last passage simply herbs, such as lettuce or savoury herbs cooked as kitchen vegetables, and not necessarily what are now called leeks. The leek was a favourite vegetable in Egypt, and is still largely cultivated there and in Palestine.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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