• synonyms


  1. a plant, Allium ampeloprasum, of the amaryllis family, allied to the onion, having a cylindrical bulb and leaves used in cookery.
  2. any of various allied species.
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Origin of leek

before 1000; Middle English; Old English lēac; cognate with German Lauch, Old Norse laukr
Can be confusedleak leek
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for leek

Historical Examples

  • Prasiosmus means smelling like a leek; from, prason, a leek.

    The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise

    M. E. Hard

  • There must be half a mile of fluff over it in this weather, but it does not affect The Leek.

    With The Night Mail

    Rudyard Kipling

  • I say, I will make him eat some part of my leek, or I will peat his pate four days.

    King Henry the Fifth

    William Shakespeare

  • Eat, I pray you: Will you have some more sauce to your leek?

    King Henry the Fifth

    William Shakespeare

  • Place the beans, water, onion and leek in a large saucepan and place on the fire.

British Dictionary definitions for leek


  1. Also called: scallion an alliaceous plant, Allium porrum, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem, and broad flat overlapping leaves: used in cooking
  2. any of several related species, such as A. ampeloprasum (wild leek)
  3. a leek, or a representation of one, as a national emblem of Wales
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Word Origin

Old English lēac; related to Old Norse laukr, Old High German louh
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 leek


culinary herb, Old English læc (Mercian), leac (West Saxon) "leek, onion, garlic," from Proto-Germanic *lauka- (cf. Old Norse laukr "leek, garlic," Danish løg, Swedish lök "onion," Old Saxon lok "leek," Middle Dutch looc, Dutch look "leek, garlic," Old High German louh, German Lauch "leek"). No known cognates; Finnish laukka, Russian luk-, Old Church Slavonic luku are borrowed from Germanic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper