Definition of falafel in English:


(also felafel)


  • [mass noun] A Middle Eastern dish of spiced mashed chickpeas or other pulses formed into balls or fritters and deep-fried, usually eaten with or in pitta bread.

    • ‘Many dine on falafel, sandwiches made with balls of deep-fried hummus, or grilled lamb sandwiches, called shwarma.’
    • ‘The special beans are also served in fried balls called falafel.’
    • ‘Another common dish is tamiyya or falafel which is made from crushed fava beans mixed with onions and leeks and fried in oil.’
    • ‘The chickpea croquettes called falafel and the ever-popular chickpea dip, hummus, are both very good.’
    • ‘Chickpeas feature in the majority of meze, in either hummus, falafel or salad, and are often spiked with coriander or mint or given a welcome boost from red chilli.’


From colloquial Egyptian Arabic falāfil, plural of Arabic fulful, filfil pepper.