General English


  • A fast-growing annual plant, Spinacia oleracea, which grows as a loose cluster of leaves to a height of 15 to 20 cm and a spread of 15 cm. Used as a vegetable and puréed as a base for other food. Very popular in Italian cooking as a colouring for pasta and as a constituent of fillings.


  • noun a common green-leaved vegetable

Origin & History of “spinach”

The ultimate origin of the word spinach is Persian aspanākh, which passed via Arabic isfināj, medieval Latin spinachia, and Spanish espinaca into Old French as espinache. middle Dutch borrowed this as spinaetse, the probable source of English spinach. It has been speculated that the change of form from Arabic to Latin may have been partly motivated by the ‘spiny’ seeds of certain types of spinach.