a plant, Foeniculum vulgare, of the parsley family, having feathery leaves and umbels of small, yellow flowers.
Also fennel seed. the aromatic fruits of this plant, used in cookery and medicine.
any of various more or less similar plants, as Ferula communis (giant fennel), a tall, ornamental plant.

Origin of fennel

before 900; Middle English fenel, Old English fenol, variant of finu(g)l < Vulgar Latin *fenuclum, for Latin fēniculum, faeniculum, equivalent to faeni- (combining form of faenum hay) + -culum -cle1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for fennel

fiber, marijuana, cannabis, hashish, flax, bhang, jute, bang, abaca, manila, ambary, kef, kif

Examples from the Web for fennel

Contemporary Examples of fennel

Historical Examples of fennel

  • Fennel, for instance, emblemised flattery, and columbine ingratitude.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • Fennel is sometimes propagated by a division of the roots and by offsets.

  • Follow me then; and on your love for Fennel, see nothing of the way in which I lead you.

    Robin Hood

    Paul Creswick

  • "Allan-a-Dale and Fennel shall go with you, dear heart," said Robin.

    Robin Hood

    Paul Creswick

  • Then they chew thyme or rock-parsley or fennel, or rub their hands with these plants.

    The City of the Sun

    Tommaso Campanella

British Dictionary definitions for fennel



a strong-smelling yellow-flowered umbelliferous plant, Foeniculum vulgare, whose seeds and feathery leaves are used to season and flavour foodSee also finocchio
another name for mayweed

Word Origin for fennel

Old English fenol, from Latin faeniculum fennel, diminutive of faenum hay
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 fennel

Old English fenol, finul, perhaps via (or influenced by) Old French fenoil or directly from Vulgar Latin fenuculum, from Latin feniculum, diminutive of fenum, faenum "hay," probably literally "produce" (see fecund). Apparently so called from its hay-like appearance and sweet odor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper