• synonyms

lima bean

  1. a bean, Phaseolus limensis, having a broad, flat, edible seed.
  2. the seed, used for food.
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Origin of lima bean

1810–20; named after Lima, Peru
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lima bean

Historical Examples of lima bean

  • They had just then come in from the lima-bean field, where they had planted poles.

    Children of the Tenements

    Jacob A. Riis

British Dictionary definitions for lima bean

lima bean

  1. any of several varieties of the bean plant, Phaseolus lunatus (or P. limensis), native to tropical America but cultivated in the US for its flat pods containing pale green edible seeds
  2. the seed of such a plant
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See also butter bean

Word Origin for lima bean

C19: named after Lima
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 lima bean


1756, associated with Lima, Peru, from which region the plant (Phaseolus lunatus) was introduced to Europe c.1500. Among the earliest New World crops to be known in the Old World, Simmonds' "Dictionary of Trade" (1858) describes it as "esteemed," but it has the consistency of a diseased dog kidney.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper