sesames

sesame

[ses-uh-mee]
noun
1.
a tropical, herbaceous plant, Sesamum indicum, whose small oval seeds are edible and yield an oil.
2.
the seeds themselves, used to add flavor to bread, crackers, etc.
Also called benne (for defs 1, 2).


Origin:
1400–50; < Greek sēsámē sesame plant ≪ Akkadian shamashshammū, derived from shaman shammī plant oil; replacing sesam, late Middle English sysane < Latin sēsamum < Greek sḗsamon sesame seed

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World English Dictionary
sesame (ˈsɛsəmɪ)
 
n
1.  a tropical herbaceous plant, Sesamum indicum, of the East Indies, cultivated, esp in India, for its small oval seeds: family Pedaliaceae
2.  the seeds of this plant, used in flavouring bread and yielding an edible oil (benne oil or gingili)
 
[C15: from Latin sēsamum, from Greek sēsamon, sēsamē, of Semitic origin; related to Arabic simsim]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sesame
c.1440, probably from M.Fr. sisame, from L. sesamum (nom. sesama), from Gk. sesamon (Doric sasamon) "seed or fruit of the sesame plant," via Phoenician from Late Babylonian *shawash-shammu (cf. Assyrian shamash-shammu "sesame," lit. "oil-seed"). First as a magic password in 1785 translation of Galland's
"Mille et une nuits," where it opens the door of the thieves' den in "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." Phrase open sesame current since about 1826.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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