any of several mostly climbing plants belonging to the genus Vicia, of the legume family, having pinnate leaves ending in tendrils and bearing pealike flowers, especially V. sativa(spring vetch) cultivated for forage and soil improvement.
any of various allied plants, as Lathyrus sativus, of Europe, cultivated for their edible seeds and for forage.
late 14c., from O.N.Fr. veche, variant of O.Fr. vece, from L. vicia, which perhaps is related to vincire "to bind" (cf. second element of periwinkle (1)). Du. wikke, Ger. Wicke are loan-words from L. vicia.