One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A leguminous plant; = "legume". Formerly also (as mass noun): †such plants collectively (obsolete).
2Botany. The fruit or seed-pod of a leguminous plant; = "legume". Now rare.
Late Middle English (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin legūmin-, legūmen leguminous plant, pulse, fruit of such a plant from legere to gather + -men, with allusion to the fact that the fruit of the plant may be gathered by hand.
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