Definition of lettuce in US English:



  • 1A cultivated plant of the daisy family, with edible leaves that are a usual ingredient of salads. Many varieties of lettuce have been developed with a range of form, texture, and color.

    Lactuca sativa, family Compositae

    • ‘The carrots, cabbage, spinach, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and beetroot that are grown in the garden were initially used to feed 80 children once a week.’
    • ‘In addition romaine lettuce, arugula and spinach are valuable.’
    • ‘In a small bowl, combine the lettuce, Upland Cress, balsamic vinegar, and grapeseed oil and toss to coat.’
    • ‘Other fruits and vegetables coming through the laboratory with diseases included figs, pears, quinces, raspberries, nectarines, cherries, onions, lettuces, corn, mung beans and pumpkins.’
    • ‘I plant hybrid tomatoes, but grow heirloom chick peas, fava beans, lettuce, and cucumbers (to list but a few).’
    • ‘In the vegetable garden early planting of lettuce, peas, radishes, carrots, parsley, onions and potatoes are equally important.’
    • ‘I said that because of the condiments: the mustard and mayo, the lettuce, tomato and onion.’
    • ‘The salad garden grows colorful lettuce, basil, tarragon and trellised peas.’
    • ‘The Sardine salad with tomato, lettuce, cucumber and carrot mixed with olive oil and vinegar is a hit dish in the eatery.’
    • ‘By way of accompaniment, we roasted acorn squash and red peppers, sautéed red onions, and made a big salad of farmers' market lettuces and shaved fennel.’
    • ‘An almost bare-bones salad of romaine lettuce has a tongue-clacking blast of fresh anchovy dressing.’
    • ‘Snap beans, turnips, leaf lettuce and spinach are also good candidates for fall harvest.’
    • ‘The crops of spring onions, lettuce and Chinese cabbage were given free to guests at a formal function to celebrate the event on Friday.’
    • ‘Verlaine's chine was stuffed with leeks, spring onions, lettuce, raspberry leaves, parsley, thyme and marjoram.’
    • ‘In the vegetable garden, carrots, spring onions, lettuce, spinach and radishes can all be planted.’
    • ‘Add the lettuce and watercress and purée until smooth, about one minute.’
    • ‘At home we grow sweetcorn, beans, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, garlic and leeks.’
    • ‘I make salad with avocados, tomato, lettuce and spring onions, with an olive oil and red wine dressing.’
    • ‘The romaine lettuce didn't feel right for this salad.’
    • ‘In my family, when the lettuce is all gone, basil's not just an herb, it becomes our main leafy green.’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of other plants with edible green leaves, e.g., lamb's lettuce, sea lettuce.
      • ‘An average dinner in our house is fish or baked chicken with lambs lettuce.’
      • ‘It came with a sauce Gribiche (a thick egg mayo type version of the caper sauce) and a salad of tender lambs' lettuce with a subtle but still distinctively walnut oil vinaigrette.’
      • ‘I particularly liked the leaves of baby jem lettuce, the oven-roasted tomatoes and the black and green olives.’
  • 2US informal Paper money; greenbacks.

    • ‘It takes a lot of lettuce to pay today's players.’


Middle English: from Old French letues, laitues, plural of laitue, from Latin lactuca, from lac, lact- ‘milk’ (because of its milky juice).