• synonyms


[kuhm-uh n, koo m-, koo-muh n, kyoo-]
  1. a small plant, Cuminum cyminum, of the parsley family, bearing aromatic, seedlike fruit, used in cookery and medicine.
  2. the fruit or seeds of this plant.
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Origin of cumin

before 900; Middle English comyn, cumin (< Old French comin) < Latin cumīnum < Greek kýmīnon < Semitic (compare Arabic kammūn, Hebrew kammōn cumin); replacing Old English cymen < Latin, as above
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British Dictionary definitions for cumin



  1. an umbelliferous Mediterranean plant, Cuminum cyminum, with finely divided leaves and small white or pink flowers
  2. the aromatic seeds (collectively) of this plant, used as a condiment and a flavouring
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Word Origin

C12: from Old French, from Latin cumīnum, from Greek kuminon, of Semitic origin; compare Hebrew kammōn
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 cumin


Old English cymen, from Latin cuminum, from Greek kyminon, cognate with Hebrew kammon, Arabic kammun.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper