Definitions

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

  • n. A tropical Asian plant (Sesamum indicum) bearing small flat seeds used as food and as a source of oil.
  • n. The seed of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tropical Asian plant Sesamum indicum bearing small flat seeds used as food and as a source of oil
  • n. The seed of this plant

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Either of two annual herbaceous plants of the genus Sesamum (S. Indicum, and S. orientale), from the seeds of which an oil is expressed; also, the small obovate, flattish seeds of these plants, sometimes used as food. See benne.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An annual herbaceous plant, Sesamum Indicum (S. orientale), widely cultivated and naturalized in tropical and subtropical countries.

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

  • n. East Indian annual erect herb; source of sesame seed or benniseed and sesame oil

Etymologies

Middle English sisamie, from Latin sēsamum, from Greek sēsamē, sēsamon, probably ultimately from Akkadian šamaššammū : šamnu, oil; see šmn in Semitic roots + šammu, plant; see šmm in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1425; Middle English sisamie, from Middle French sisame, learned borrowing from Latin sīsamum, variant of sēsama, from Ancient Greek σησάμη (sēsámē) (obl. σήσαμον (sḗsamon)) ‘sesame seed’, from Old Aramaic šwšmʾ (šūššmā), shortening of šwmšwmʾ (šumššemā), from Akkadian (Assyrian) šamaššammū, šamaššammi, literally ‘plant oil’, compound of  (šaman) ‘oil’ and  (šammu) ‘plant’. (Wiktionary)

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