from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A leguminous plant (Lens culinaris) native to southwest Asia, having flat pods containing lens-shaped, edible seeds.
  • n. The round, flattened seed of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several plants of the genus Lens, especially Lens culinaris, from southwest Asia, that have edible, lens-shaped seeds within flattened pods.
  • n. The seed of these plants, used as food.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A leguminous plant of the genus Ervum (Ervum Lens), of small size, common in the fields in Europe. Also, its seed, which is used for food on the continent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The annual leguminous plant Lens esculenta, or its seeds.
  • n. plural Freckles; lentigo.
  • n. In apparatus for rectifying alcohol, one of the lentil-shaped bulbs (of which there are generally two, but may be more) placed in the condenser between the coil and the pipe leading from the column of the still. See still and rectification.
  • n. A body or mass having the general form of a double-convex lens; a lenticular body or mass; a lenticle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. widely cultivated Eurasian annual herb grown for its edible flattened seeds that are cooked like peas and also ground into meal and for its leafy stalks that are used as fodder
  • n. the fruit or seed of a lentil plant
  • n. round flat seed of the lentil plant used for food


Middle English, from Old French lentille, from Vulgar Latin *lentīcula, from Latin lenticula, diminutive of lēns, lent-, lentil.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French lentille from Latin lenticula, diminutive of lēns, from a Proto-Indo-European root shared by German Linse and Ancient Greek λάθυρος (lathuros). (Wiktionary)



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