- a small croquette made with ground chickpeas or fava beans and spices, often served with salad and tahini in pita bread.
Origin of falafel
1950–55; < Levantine Arabic falāfil, plural of filfil “pepper”; possibly from Persian pilpil, from Sanskrit pippalī “long pepper,” or from Aramaic pilpāl “small round object, peppercorn”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a variant spelling of falafel
- a ball or cake of ground spiced chickpeas, deep-fried and often served with pitta bread
C20: from Arabic felāfil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for felafel
by 1951 as a traveler's word, not common or domestic in English until 1970s; from Arabic falafil, said to mean "crunchy."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper