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[mil-it] /ˈmɪl ɪt/
a cereal grass, Setaria italica, extensively cultivated in the East and in southern Europe for its small seed, or grain, used as food for humans and fowls, but in the U.S. grown chiefly for fodder.
any of various related or similar grasses cultivated as grain plants or forage plants.
the grain of any of these grasses.
Origin of millet
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English milet < Middle French, equivalent to mil (< Latin milium millet) + -et -et


[mi-ley; for 2 also French mee-le] /mɪˈleɪ; for 2 also French miˈlɛ/
Francis Davis, 1846–1912, U.S. painter, illustrator, and journalist.
Jean François
[zhahn frahn-swa] /ʒɑ̃ frɑ̃ˈswa/ (Show IPA),
1814–75, French painter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for millet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As Rousseau and his fellows discovered the poetry of work-a-day nature, millet discovered that of ordinary life.

  • There was among them a superb millet, which I should very much have liked to own.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • In the similar letter, x. 27, 'tertia portio' (whether of wheat or millet is not stated) is to be sold at 25 modii per solidum.

    The Letters of Cassiodorus Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)
  • "Your pardon, brother millet," he interrupted, and pointed towards Ralph's arms.

  • Meat they hardly touch; rice, maize, curcur, millet and cassava are their ordinary food.

    The Social Contract & Discourses Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • "Assuredly not," Justice millet burst out, pulling his robes about him.

British Dictionary definitions for millet


a cereal grass, Setaria italica, cultivated for grain and animal fodder
  1. an East Indian annual grass, Panicum miliaceum, cultivated for grain and forage, having pale round shiny seeds
  2. the seed of this plant
any of various similar or related grasses, such as pearl millet and Indian millet
adjective miliary
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin milium; related to Greek melinē millet


/French milɛ/
Jean François (ʒɑ̃ frɑ̃swa). 1814–75, French painter of the Barbizon school, noted for his studies of peasants at work
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 millet

cereal grain, c.1400, from Middle French millet, diminutive of mil "millet," from Latin milium "millet" (see mallet). Cognate with Greek meline, Lithuanian malnus (plural) "millet."

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

(Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9), a small grain, the produce of the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is universally cultivated in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This seed is the cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by the Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often mixed with other grain. In this country it is only used for feeding birds.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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