the seed of any of certain Mexican plants of the genera Sebastiania and Sapium, of the spurge family: the movements of a moth larva inside the seed cause it to move about or jump.
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Origin of jumping bean
An Americanism dating back to 1885–90
Also called Mexican jumping bean.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for jumping bean
a seed of any of several Mexican euphorbiaceous plants, esp species of Sebastiania, that contains a moth caterpillar whose movements cause it to jerk about
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