follow Dictionary.com

How do you spell Hannukah?

vanilla

[vuh-nil-uh or, often, -nel-uh] /vəˈnɪl ə or, often, -ˈnɛl ə/
noun
1.
any tropical, climbing orchid of the genus Vanilla, especially V. planifolia, bearing podlike fruit yielding an extract used in flavoring food, in perfumery, etc.
2.
Also called vanilla bean. the fruit or bean of this orchid.
3.
the extract of this fruit.
adjective
4.
containing or flavored with vanilla:
vanilla custard.
5.
Informal. plain-vanilla.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < New Latin < Spanish vainilla little pod, equivalent to vain(a) a sheath (< Latin vāgīna sheath) + -illa diminutive suffix (< LL)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for vanilla bean

vanilla

/vəˈnɪlə/
noun
1.
any tropical climbing orchid of the genus Vanilla, esp V. plonifolia, having spikes of large fragrant greenish-yellow flowers and long fleshy pods containing the seeds (beans)
2.
the pod or bean of certain of these plants, used to flavour food, etc
3.
a flavouring extract prepared from vanilla beans and used in cooking
adjective
4.
flavoured with or as if with vanilla: vanilla ice cream
5.
(slang) ordinary or conventional: a vanilla kind of guy
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Spanish vainilla pod, from vaina a sheath, from Latin vāgīna sheath
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for vanilla bean

vanilla

n.

1660s, from Spanish vainilla "vanilla plant," literally "little pod," diminutive of vaina "sheath," from Latin vagina "sheath" (see vagina). So called from the shape of the pods. European discovery 1521 by Hernando Cortes' soldiers on reconnaissance in southeastern Mexico. Meaning "conventional, of ordinary sexual preferences" is 1970s, from notion of whiteness and the common choice of vanilla ice cream.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
vanilla bean in Medicine

vanilla bean n.
See vanilla.

vanilla va·nil·la (və-nĭl'ə)
n.

  1. Any of various tropical American vines of the genus Vanilla, especially V. planifolia, cultivated for its long narrow seedpods from which a flavoring agent is obtained.

  2. The seedpod of this plant. Also called vanilla bean.

  3. A flavoring extract prepared from the cured seedpods of this plant or produced synthetically.

adj.
Flavored with vanilla.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for vanilla bean

vamp

noun

A volunteer firefighter

[1877+; origin unknown; said to be fr Voluntary Association of Master Pumpers]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for vanilla

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for vanilla

10
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for vanilla bean