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[vech] /vɛtʃ/
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.
the beanlike seed or fruit of any such plant.
1325-75; Middle English ve(c)che < Anglo-French; Old French vecce (French vesce) < Latin vicia
Related forms
vetchlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vetch
  • Park managers tend to target invasive weeds such as red vetch with herbicides because they can outcompete native plants.
  • They linger over the sweetness of particulars-vetch, the feel of an eel on a line.
  • Crown vetch is a perennial legume that reproduces by seeds and spreads vegetatively.
  • It is not a true vetch and does not have tendrils for climbing.
  • Lana vetch is planted in the fall and reseeds itself.
  • Hairy vetch mulch provides a thick residue that releases nutrients and suppresses growth of weeds.
British Dictionary definitions for vetch


any of various climbing leguminous plants of the temperate genus Vicia, esp V. sativa, having pinnate leaves, typically blue or purple flowers, and tendrils on the stems
any of various similar and related plants, such as Lathyrus sativus, cultivated in parts of Europe, and the kidney vetch
the beanlike fruit of any of these plants
Word Origin
C14: fecche, from Old French veche, from Latin vicia
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 vetch

late 14c., from Old North French veche, variant of Old French vece, from Latin vicia, which perhaps is related to vincire "to bind" (cf. second element of periwinkle (n.1)). Dutch wikke, German Wicke are loan-words from Latin vicia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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