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legume

[leg-yoom, li-gyoom] /ˈlɛg yum, lɪˈgyum/
noun
1.
any plant of the legume family, especially those used for feed, food, or as a soil-improving crop.
2.
the pod or seed vessel of such a plant.
3.
any table vegetable of the legume family.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80; < French légume vegetable < Latin legūmen pulse, a leguminous plant, derivative of legere to gather
Related forms
nonlegume, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for legume
  • 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 sequenced.
  • Trees of the legume family, often lofty and heavily buttressed, are widespread in these forests.
  • They have a different flavor from any other legume, arguably the best of all.
  • Peas are members of the legume family, and as such are nitrogen fixers.
  • They're a versatile legume, welcome in salads and soups, stews and pastas.
  • Improving pasture legume persistence or longevity has been a goal of plant breeders for years.
  • Alfalfa and other forage legume crops support livestock production around the world.
British Dictionary definitions for legume

legume

/ˈlɛɡjuːm; lɪˈɡjuːm/
noun
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
Word Origin
C17: from French légume, from Latin legūmen bean, from legere to pick (a crop)
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 legume
n.

plant of the group of the pulse family, 1670s, from French légume (16c.), from Latin legumen "pulse, leguminous plant," of unknown origin. One suggestion ties it to Latin legere "to gather" (see lecture (n.)), because they can be scooped by the handful. Used in Middle English in the Latin form legumen (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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legume in Science
legume
  (lěg'ym', lə-gym')   
  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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