[leg-yoom, li-gyoom]
any plant of the legume family, especially those used for feed, food, or as a soil-improving crop.
the pod or seed vessel of such a plant.
any table vegetable of the legume family.

1670–80; < French légume vegetable < Latin legūmen pulse, a leguminous plant, derivative of legere to gather

nonlegume, noun
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World English Dictionary
legume (ˈlɛɡjuːm, lɪˈɡjuːm)
1.  the long dry dehiscent fruit produced by leguminous plants; a pod
2.  any table vegetable of the family Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae), esp beans or peas
3.  any leguminous plant
[C17: from French légume, from Latin legūmen bean, from legere to pick (a crop)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"plant of the group of the pulse family," 1670s, from Fr. légume, from L. legumen, of unknown origin. One suggestion ties it to L. legere "to gather" (see lecture), because they can be scooped by the handful. Used in M.E. in the L. form legumen (late 14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
legume   (lěg'ym', lə-gym')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Any of a large number of eudicot plants belonging to the family Leguminosae (or Fabaceae). Their characteristic fruit is a seed pod. Legumes live in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in structures called nodules on their roots. These bacteria are able to take nitrogen from the air, which is in a form that plants cannot use, and convert it into compounds that the plants can use. Many legumes are widely cultivated for food, as fodder for livestock, and as a means of improving the nitrogen content of soils. Beans, peas, clover, alfalfa, locust trees, and acacia trees are all legumes.

  2. The seed pod of such a plant.

leguminous adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Influence of frequent and long-term consumption of legume seeds on excretion of
  intestinal gases.
The lentil may be a humble legume, but it's loved all over the world.
Now scientists have sequenced its genome, making it the first legume to be
Trees of the legume family, often lofty and heavily buttressed, are widespread
  in these forests.
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