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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 plantains
  • The vast bulk of the banana family is made up of the starchy cooking bananas and plantains grown as a staple.
  • In tropical climates, people often rely on starchy fruits such as plantains and breadfruit.
  • Resembling a large green banana, plantains develop a starchy texture when cooked.
  • Though many people confuse plantains with bananas, plantains are larger, have a thicker peel and are much less sweet than bananas.
  • The menu offers such dishes as grilled pork loin with plantains, chicken with yellow rice and shrimp in garlic sauce.
  • plantains, boiled yams, bean cakes and rice are a few of the accompanying sides you can order.
  • plantains are common as well, served sliced and fried.
  • Other ingredients include potatoes, yams, rice and plantains.
  • Crispy plantains and sweet potato pie are on the dessert menu.
  • It's a recipe based on banana's foster's using sweet plantains instead of bananas and the rum of my country.
British Dictionary definitions for plantains

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
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Word Origin and History for plantains

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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