Definition of legume in US English:



  • 1A leguminous plant (member of the pea family), especially one grown as a crop.

    • ‘Orchardgrass is especially well suited for mixtures with tall legumes, such as alfalfa and red clover.’
    • ‘The most common legumes are alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil.’
    • ‘Grasses and legumes can provide cover for ground nesting birds - especially if the area is not mowed during the nesting season.’
    • ‘Not only can we produce our own nitrogen by growing legumes, but we can actually rebuild the health of our soils.’
    • ‘The use of legumes as rotation crops is once again gaining favor.’
    • ‘He's also seeded pastures with legumes like alfalfa and red and white clovers.’
    • ‘Other crop plants like peppers, cowpeas, clovers, legumes, and many others will be studied in the future.’
    • ‘In the Northeast, pasture typically contains a grass species plus a legume, like clover, according to ARS agronomist Matt Sanderson.’
    • ‘Since these two cover crops are legumes, they form a symbiosis with specialized soil bacteria called rhizobia.’
    • ‘As farms grew, wheat became the universal crop and was often used as a means of payment; other crops included legumes, barley, and oats.’
    • ‘This can cause difficulty for forage producers who have increased their use of mixtures of grasses and legumes, especially with alfalfa.’
    • ‘Green manure crops and crop rotations involving legumes also provide farmers with an additional source of plant nutrients.’
    • ‘To control nematodes, rotate crops with grasses or legumes, and maintain a high level of soil organic matter.’
    • ‘From that point, we could talk about feeding the soil with compost and diverse cover crops (both legumes and grasses).’
    • ‘Vance's focus is on improving biological nitrogen fixation for alfalfa and other legumes as well as improving how plants acquire more phosphorus from the soil.’
    • ‘These foods include soybeans, other types of legumes, clover, alfalfa, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and rye.’
    • ‘Apart from sugar and soybeans we also grow other legumes and sunflowers, a source for cooking oil.’
    • ‘We are aware of no such studies of wild legumes growing in uncultivated soils.’
    • ‘Buckwheat, mustard, rape, or fast-growing legumes, such as vetches or crimson clover, can be used.’
    • ‘Perennial grasses or legumes should be planted by now.’
    1. 1.1 A seed, pod, or other edible part of a leguminous plant, used as food.
      • ‘Try to get as much fiber as you can from bodybuilding foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain breads, vegetables, legumes and fruit.’
      • ‘Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and nuts.’
      • ‘It is high in cereal grains, legumes and root vegetables and restricts simple sugar and fats.’
      • ‘If you're going to enrich your diet with fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes, look for organic varieties to avoid produce that's coated with chemicals.’
      • ‘Follow a meal plan that includes a variety of low-fat foods, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.’
      • ‘Foods high in dietary fibre may include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.’
      • ‘Olives, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, rice, unsweetened fruits and gluten-free products are allowed.’
      • ‘Fibre present in vegetables, fruits, legumes and fenugreek seeds is soluble in nature and more effective in controlling blood sugar and serum lipids.’
      • ‘Increase exercise, fruits, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, spices such as black pepper, turmeric and ginger.’
      • ‘They form the foundation of a healthy diet, along with other plant-based foods, including vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.’
      • ‘Vegetarian patients with wounds will need to have their menus revised to incorporate a variety of nuts, grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and beverages.’
      • ‘At about 17 grams of fiber per cup, beans, lentils and legumes also are high in protein and rich in complex carbohydrates, which helps keep hunger at bay.’
      • ‘Your best sources of fiber are bran cereals, whole-wheat bread, legumes and oatmeal.’
      • ‘Vegetarians base their diet on four main food groups: starch, legumes, fruits and vegetables.’
      • ‘Look for options that contain legumes or soy protein.’
      • ‘It is one of the few legumes with more protein than carbohydrate.’
      • ‘Dark, leafy green vegetables, beans and legumes are helpful.’
      • ‘Black-eyed peas are a good low-fat complement to oily legumes such as soybeans and peanuts.’
      • ‘Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and whole-grain products.’
      • ‘Folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes and citrus fruits.’
    2. 1.2Botany The long seedpod of a leguminous plant.
      • ‘The larger plants contained many blooms and legumes, allowing them to be identified in the field.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In legumes, net pod photosynthesis is generally lower and, in chickpea, rates are generally less than 5% of that in the subtending leaf.’
      • ‘Seed coat cells in the developing seeds of grain legumes release nutrients to the developing embryo.’
      • ‘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.’
      seed case, pod, shell, husk, hull, case, sheath
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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).