[ spin-ich ]
/ ˈspɪn ɪtʃ /


a plant, Spinacia oleracea, cultivated for its edible, crinkly or flat leaves.
the leaves.

Nearby words

  1. spina bifida aperta,
  2. spina bifida cystica,
  3. spina bifida manifesta,
  4. spina bifida occulta,
  5. spinaceous,
  6. spinach-rhubarb,
  7. spinal,
  8. spinal accessory nerve,
  9. spinal anaesthesia,
  10. spinal analgesia

Origin of spinach

1520–30; < Middle French espinache, espinage < Old Spanish espinaca, alteration of Arabic isfānākh, perhaps < Persian

Related formsspin·ach·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spinach

British Dictionary definitions for spinach


/ (ˈspɪnɪdʒ, -ɪtʃ) /


a chenopodiaceous annual plant, Spinacia oleracea, cultivated for its dark green edible leaves
the leaves of this plant, eaten as a vegetable

Word Origin for spinach

C16: from Old French espinache, from Old Spanish espinaca, from Arabic isfānākh, from Persian

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 spinach



c.1400, from Anglo-French spinache, Old French espinache (Modern French épinard), from Old Provençal espinarc, which perhaps is via Catalan espinac, from Andalusian Arabic isbinakh, from Arabic isbanakh, from Persian aspanakh "spinach." But OED is not convinced the Middle Eastern words are native, and based on the plethora of Romanic forms pronounces the origin "doubtful." Old folk etymology connected the word with Latin spina (see spine) or with Medieval Latin Hispanicum olus. For pronunciation, see cabbage. In 1930s colloquial American English, it had a sense of "nonsense, rubbish," based on a famous "New Yorker" cartoon of Dec. 8, 1928.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper