Definition of legume in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlɛɡjuːm/


1A leguminous plant (member of the pea family), especially one grown as a crop: he sows a mixture of grasses and legumes
More example sentences
  • We are aware of no such studies of wild legumes growing in uncultivated soils.
  • He's also seeded pastures with legumes like alfalfa and red and white clovers.
  • Not only can we produce our own nitrogen by growing legumes, but we can actually rebuild the health of our soils.
1.1A seed, pod, or other edible part of a leguminous plant, used as food: the new diet is high in fruit, vegetables, and legumes
More example sentences
  • Folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes and citrus fruits.
  • It is high in cereal grains, legumes and root vegetables and restricts simple sugar and fats.
  • Foods high in dietary fibre may include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.
1.2 Botany The long seed pod of a leguminous plant.
Example sentences
  • More information is needed to understand how the pod wall or seed coat tissues in legumes provide these functions; a sound structural foundation should help in this effort.
  • In many legumes, seeds are arranged linearly within the pod, making it relatively simple to study the effect of position of the ovule on seed abortion and seed set.
  • Seed coat cells in the developing seeds of grain legumes release nutrients to the developing embryo.


Mid 17th century (denoting the edible portion of the plant): from French légume, from Latin legumen, from legere 'to pick' (because the fruit may be picked by hand).

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