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[keen-wah, kee-noh-uh] /ˈkin wɑ, kiˈnoʊ ə/
a tall crop plant, Chenopodium quinoa, of the amaranth family, cultivated mainly in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile for its small, ivory-colored seed, which is used as a food staple.
Also, quinua.
Origin of quinoa
1615-25; < Spanish < Quechua kinua, kinoa Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quinoa
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since this list was printed, I have been informed that the quinoa is wild in Chili.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants Alphonse De Candolle
  • We noticed also quinoa and even barley growing at an elevation of 14,000 feet.

    Inca Land Hiram Bingham
  • The quinoa seeds, when boiled, are both pleasant and nutritious, but especially so when boiled in milk.

  • Previous to the discovery of America, “quinoa” was an article of food, supplying the place of wheat.

  • The Indians of Cochinoca and Susques sow lucerne and barley for fodder, and the quinoa and potato for food.

    The Argentine Republic

    Pierre Denis
British Dictionary definitions for quinoa


/ˈkiːnəʊə; kwɪˈnəʊə/
a grain high in nutrients traditionally grown as a staple food high in the Andes
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for quinoa

1620s, from Spanish spelling of Quechua kinua.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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