- noun an important grain legume
- The fruit of a climbing legume, Pisum sativum, grown extensively in temperate climates, consisting of a green pod to 10 cm long containing a row of soft, round green seeds which become brown and hard when ripe. Some varieties (e.g. mangetout) have edible pods which are eaten whole before the seeds begin to swell, but most have inedible pods and the green underripe seeds are eaten either raw if very young or cooked. Most peas are frozen in the developed world. Some are dried, possibly dehusked and split or further processed. The fully ripe seed is brown and used as animal and bird food in developed countries but may also be used as a pulse.
Origin & History of “pea”
Pea is the mirror-image of dice. Dice started off as the plural of die, but has become a singular form; the singular form of pea was originally pease, but it came to be regarded as plural, and so a new singular pea was created. The word was originally acquired in the Old English period from Latin pisa, which in turn got it from Greek píson. The old singular form survives in pease pudding. Relatives of the word include French pois, Italian pisello, and Welsh pysen.