alfalfa

[ al-fal-fuh ]
/ ælˈfæl fə /

noun

a plant, Medicago sativa, of the legume family, usually having bluish-purple flowers, originating in the Near East and widely cultivated as a forage crop.

Origin of alfalfa

1835–45; < Spanish, variant of alfalfez < Spanish Arabic al the + faṣfaṣah < Persian ispist lucerne
Also called lucerne, purple medic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for purple medic (1 of 2)

purple medic

noun

another name for alfalfa

British Dictionary definitions for purple medic (2 of 2)

alfalfa
/ (ælˈfælfə) /

noun

a leguminous plant, Medicago sativa, of Europe and Asia, having compound leaves with three leaflets and clusters of small purplish flowers. It is widely cultivated for forage and as a nitrogen fixer and used as a commercial source of chlorophyllAlso called: lucerne

Word Origin for alfalfa

C19: from Spanish, from Arabic al-fasfasah, from al the + fasfasah the best sort of fodder
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