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plantain1

[plan-tin, -tn] /ˈplæn tɪn, -tn/
noun
1.
a tropical plant, Musa paradisiaca, of the banana family, resembling the banana.
2.
its fruit, eaten cooked as a staple food in tropical regions.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; earlier pla(n)tan < Spanish plá(n)tano plantain, also plane tree < Medieval Latin pla(n)tanus, Latin platanus plane3

plantain2

[plan-tin, -tn] /ˈplæn tɪn, -tn/
noun
1.
any plant of the genus Plantago, especially P. major, a weed with large, spreading leaves close to the ground and long, slender spikes of small flowers.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English plauntein < Old French plantein < Latin plantāgin- (stem of plantāgō), derivative of planta sole of the foot, literally, something flat and spread out, like the broad leaf of the plantain; akin to Greek platýs flat1; see platy-
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for plantain
  • Before you begin peeling a plantain, bring it to room temperature.
  • The eggs are laid at the base of plantain, owl's clover or paintbrush.
British Dictionary definitions for plantain

plantain1

/ˈplæntɪn/
noun
1.
any of various N temperate plants of the genus Plantago, esp P. major (great plantain), which has a rosette of broad leaves and a slender spike of small greenish flowers: family Plantaginaceae See also ribwort
Word Origin
C14 plauntein, from Old French plantein, from Latin plantāgō, from planta sole of the foot

plantain2

/ˈplæntɪn/
noun
1.
a large tropical musaceous plant, Musa paradisiaca
2.
the green-skinned banana-like fruit of this plant, eaten as a staple food in many tropical regions
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish platano plantain, plane tree
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 plantain
n.

"banana," 1550s, plantan, from Spanish plátano, plántano, probably from Carib palatana "banana" (Arawak pratane), and altered by association with Spanish plátano "plane tree," from Medieval Latin plantanus "plane tree," itself altered (by association with Latin planta "plant") from Latin platanus (see plane (n.4)). So called from the shape of its leaves. There is no similarity or relation between this plant and plantain (n.2).

"weed of the genus Plantago," mid-13c., from Anglo-French plaunteyne, Old French plantain, from Latin plantaginem (nominative plantago), the common weed, from planta "sole of the foot" (see plant (n.)); so called from its flat leaves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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