- noun a common green vegetable (Phaseolus vulgaris). The beans grow on dwarf bush plants, and are grown for sale fresh or for processing as canned, frozen or dried vegetables. Some are harvested as a dried seed crop, for sale dried as haricot beans, or for processing (e.g. into baked beans).
- A South American, half-hardy annual legume, Phaseolus vulgaris, usually a dwarf bush but occasionally climbing, which carries 10 to 15 cm long thin fleshy pods, usually green but some yellow or purple. When immature, the whole pod is eaten as a vegetable. At a later stage when the pods become stringy the fresh green beans are known as flageolet beans and can be treated as peas, i.e.used as they are or dried. When fully mature, cream- or fawn-coloured and completely dry, the beans are known as haricot beans. They are grown extensively all over the world.