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[len-til, -tl] /ˈlɛn tɪl, -tl/
a plant, Lens culinaris, of the legume family, having flattened, biconvex seeds used as food.
the seed itself.
1200-50; Middle English < Old French lentille < Vulgar Latin *lentīcula for Latin lenticula. See lenticle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lentils
  • In a large pot, wash and rinse the barley and lentils.
  • Baked beans get all the glory, but lentils also work well with maple.
  • Savory beef stew and lemony lentils are made for sharing.
  • Such treats are surprisingly simple to make with lentils and rice.
  • There are big meaty flavors too, though even the standout crisp-skin pork comes paired with almost juicy lentils.
  • Legumes that are harvested for their dry seeds, such as beans or lentils, are called pulses.
  • In some villages, they offered parents about two pounds of free lentils when they brought their children in for shots.
  • The lentils were mixed with small, somewhat crude pieces of homemade pasta and seasoned with plenty of fresh mint.
  • You're not going to have a celebratory feast and eat lentils.
  • Served with stewed lentils and cabbage, it is hearty, but insufficiently transfigured from plain old pork and beans.
British Dictionary definitions for lentils


a small annual leguminous plant, Lens culinaris, of the Mediterranean region and W Asia, having edible brownish convex seeds
any of the seeds of this plant, which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, in soups, etc
Word Origin
C13: from Old French lentille, from Latin lenticula, diminutive of lēns lentil
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 lentils



mid-13c., from Old French lentille "lentil," also "freckle," from Latin lenticula, diminutive of Latin lens (genitive lentis) "lentil," cognate with Greek lathyros, German linse, Old Church Slavonic lęšta.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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