or fe·la·fel

[fuh-lah-fuh l]

noun Middle Eastern Cookery.

a small croquette made with ground chickpeas or fava beans and spices, often served with salad and tahini in pita bread.

Nearby words

  1. fakeer,
  2. faker,
  3. fakery,
  4. fakir,
  5. fal la,
  6. falange,
  7. falangist,
  8. falasha,
  9. falashas,
  10. falbala

Sometimes fa·la·fil.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for falafel

British Dictionary definitions for falafel




a ball or cake of ground spiced chickpeas, deep-fried and often served with pitta bread

Word Origin for falafel

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 falafel



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