A bean is a seed you can eat. You might love garbanzo beans but detest large, green lima beans.

When you order rice and beans at a Mexican restaurant, you get a plate full of deliciously spiced, slightly mashed pinto or black beans. You might plant beans in your garden, vine-like climbing plants that grow pods with beans inside. Coffee and chocolate are both foods that start out as beans. If someone beans you during a softball game, it means they hit you with the ball, usually in the head — also colloquially called a bean.

Definitions of bean
  1. noun
    any of various leguminous plants grown for their edible seeds and pods
    synonyms: bean plant
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    bush bean
    a bean plant whose bushy growth needs no supports
    pole bean
    a climbing bean plant that will climb a wall or tree or trellis
    shell bean, shell bean plant
    a bean plant grown primarily for its edible seed rather than its pod
    Phaseolus vulgaris, common bean, common bean plant
    the common annual twining or bushy bean plant grown for its edible seeds or pods
    Dutch case-knife bean, Phaseolus coccineus, Phaseolus multiflorus, runner bean, scarlet runner, scarlet runner bean
    tropical American bean with red flowers and mottled black beans similar to Phaseolus vulgaris but perennial; a preferred food bean in Great Britain
    Phaseolus limensis, lima bean, lima bean plant
    bush or tall-growing bean plant having large flat edible seeds
    Phaseolus lunatus, butter bean, butter-bean plant, lima bean, sieva bean
    bush bean plant cultivated especially in southern United States having small flat edible seeds
    Phaseolus acutifolius latifolius, tepary bean
    twining plant of southwestern United States and Mexico having roundish white or yellow or brown or black beans
    English bean, European bean, Vicia faba, broad bean, broad-bean, broad-bean plant, field bean
    Old World upright plant grown especially for its large flat edible seeds but also as fodder
    type of:
    legume, leguminous plant
    an erect or climbing bean or pea plant of the family Leguminosae
  2. noun
    any of various edible seeds of plants of the family Leguminosae used for food
    synonyms: edible bean
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    goa bean
    Old World tropical bean
    common bean
    any of numerous beans eaten either fresh or dried
    soy, soya, soya bean, soybean
    the most highly proteinaceous vegetable known; the fruit of the soybean plant is used in a variety of foods and as fodder (especially as a replacement for animal protein)
    kidney bean
    large dark red bean; usually dried
    navy bean, pea bean, white bean
    white-seeded bean; usually dried
    pinto bean
    mottled or spotted bean of southwestern United States; usually dried
    Mexican bean; usually dried
    black bean, turtle bean
    black-seeded bean of South America; usually dried
    fresh bean
    beans eaten before they are ripe as opposed to dried
    flageolet, haricot
    a French bean variety with light-colored seeds; usually dried
    field soybean
    seeds used as livestock feed
    type of:
    the seedpod of a leguminous plant (such as peas or beans or lentils)
  3. noun
    any of various seeds or fruits that are beans or resemble beans
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    coumara nut, tonka bean
    fragrant black nutlike seeds of the tonka bean tree; used in perfumes and medicines and as a substitute for vanilla
    algarobilla, algarroba, algarrobilla
    mesquite pod used in tanning and dyeing
    calabar bean, ordeal bean
    dark brown highly poisonous seed of the calabar-bean vine; source of physostigmine and used in native witchcraft
    twisted seed pods of the divi-divi tree; source of tannin
    algarroba, algarroba bean, carob, carob bean, locust bean, locust pod
    long pod containing small beans and sweetish edible pulp; used as animal feed and source of a chocolate substitute
    soy, soya bean, soybean
    a source of oil; used for forage and soil improvement and as food
    broad bean, fava bean, horsebean
    seed of the broad-bean plant
    type of:
    a small hard fruit
  4. noun
    informal terms for a human head
    synonyms: attic, bonce, dome, noggin, noodle
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    type of:
    human head
    the head of a human being
  5. verb
    hit on the head, especially with a pitched baseball
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    type of:
    deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument
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