[len-til, -tl]

Origin of lentil

1200–50; Middle English < Old French lentille < Vulgar Latin *lentīcula for Latin lenticula. See lenticle
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British Dictionary definitions for lentil


  1. a small annual leguminous plant, Lens culinaris, of the Mediterranean region and W Asia, having edible brownish convex seeds
  2. any of the seeds of this plant, which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, in soups, etc

Word Origin for lentil

C13: from Old French lentille, from Latin lenticula, diminutive of lēns lentil
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 lentil

mid-13c., from Old French lentille "lentil," also "freckle," from Latin lenticula, diminutive of Latin lens (genitive lentis) "lentil," cognate with Greek lathyros, German linse, Old Church Slavonic lęšta.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper