General English

  • noun a seed or the long thin pod of various different plants, that is cooked and eaten


  • noun one of various varieties of legumes with edible seeds


  • A leguminous plant characterized by a long pod containing a string of separated seeds. Both the young immature pods and seeds and fresh or dried mature seeds are used for a variety of culinary purposes. The principal vegetable varieties in Europe and North America are broad, dwarf french, climbing French and runner, but many others e.g. mung, soya, lima, etc. are in widespread use.


  • noun a dried seed that is ground and is used in cooking or to make drinks

Origin & History of “bean”

The word bean (Old English bēan) has relatives in several Germanic languages (German bohne, Dutch boon, Swedish böna), pointing to a common west and north Germanic source *baunō, but that is as far back in history as we can pursue it.

Beanfeast (19th c.) apparently derived from the practice of serving bacon and beans (or, according to some, bean geese, a species of goose) at the annual dinners given by firms to their employees in the 19th century. Beano, originally a printers’ abbreviation, appears towards the end of the 19th century.