Definition of einkorn in US English:



  • An old kind of Mediterranean wheat with small bearded ears and spikelets that each contain one slender grain, used as fodder in prehistoric times but now rarely grown.

    Triticum monococcum, family Gramineae

    Compare with emmer, spelt
    • ‘Bread wheat was the accidental ‘unnatural’ crossing of einkorn and then emmer wheat with another species.’
    • ‘Albert the archaeology student was in the university library, slumped over an untidy heap of palynological textbooks that traced the emergence of the emmer and the einkorn on the Fertile Crescent some six or seven thousand years ago.’
    • ‘Three species exist both as wild and domesticated wheats, einkorn, emmer, and breadwheat.’
    • ‘Unlike einkorn, barley has a long history of cultivation in the Fertile Crescent.’
    • ‘Domesticates included herded sheep and goats together with hulled barley, and emmer and einkorn wheat.’


Early 20th century: from German, from ein ‘one’ + Korn ‘seed’.