[buhk-hweet, -weet]
  1. a plant, especially Fagopyrum esculentum, cultivated for its triangular seeds, which are used as a feed for animals or made into a flour for human consumption, as in pancakes or cereal.Compare buckwheat family.
  2. the seeds of this plant.
  3. Also buckwheat flour. flour made from seeds of buckwheat.
  1. made with buckwheat flour: buckwheat pancakes.

Origin of buckwheat

1540–50; obsolete buck(Old English bōc beech) + wheat; compare Dutch boekweit, German Buchweizen; so called because its seeds resemble beechnuts
Related formsbuck·wheat·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for buckwheat


  1. any of several polygonaceous plants of the genus Fagopyrum, esp F. esculentum, which has fragrant white flowers and is cultivated, esp in the US, for its seeds
  2. the edible seeds of this plant, ground into flour or used as animal fodder
  3. the flour obtained from these seeds

Word Origin for buckwheat

C16: from Middle Dutch boecweite, from boeke beech + weite wheat, from the resemblance of their seeds to beechnuts
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 buckwheat

1540s, from Middle Dutch boecweite "beech wheat" (cf. Danish boghvede, Swedish bovete, German Buchweizen), so called from resemblance between grains and seed of beech trees. Possibly a native formation on the same model as the Dutch word, from a dialectal form of beech. See beech + wheat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper