A pea is a plant that grows small, green, edible seeds — also called peas. When you think of peas, you undoubtedly picture the little green things on your plate beside the mashed potatoes.

You might think of peas as vegetables — more specifically, they are legumes. They are actually the seeds, or fruit, of a plant that most commonly climbs like a vine and produces long pods that contain peas. The word started as pease in Middle English, which referred to both the singular and the plural (like wheat and corn). The Greek root is pison.

Definitions of pea
  1. noun
    a leguminous plant of the genus Pisum with small white flowers and long green pods containing edible green seeds
    synonyms: pea plant
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    Pisum sativum, common pea, garden pea, garden pea plant
    plant producing peas usually eaten fresh rather than dried
    Pisum sativum macrocarpon, edible-pod pea, edible-podded pea
    a variety of pea plant producing peas having soft thick edible pods lacking the fibrous inner lining of the common pea
    Austrian winter pea, Pisum arvense, Pisum sativum arvense, field pea, field-pea plant
    variety of pea plant native to the Mediterranean region and North Africa and widely grown especially for forage
    snow pea, sugar pea
    variety of pea plant producing peas having thin flat edible pods
    snap pea, sugar snap pea
    variety of pea plant producing peas having crisp rounded edible pods
    type of:
    legume, leguminous plant
    an erect or climbing bean or pea plant of the family Leguminosae
  2. noun
    seed of a pea plant used for food
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    garden pea, green pea
    fresh pea
    marrowfat pea
    a variety of large pea that is commonly processed and sold in cans
    cajan pea, dahl, pigeon pea
    small highly nutritious seed of the tropical pigeon-pea plant
    field pea
    coarse small-seeded pea often used as food when young and tender
    snow pea, sugar pea
    green peas with flat edible pods
    sugar snap pea
    green peas with edible pods that are very crisp and not flat
    dried hulled pea; used in soup
    type of:
    the seedpod of a leguminous plant (such as peas or beans or lentils)
  3. noun
    the fruit or seed of a pea plant
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    garden pea
    the flattened to cylindric inflated multi-seeded fruit of the common pea plant
    type of:
    the fruit or seed of any of various bean or pea plants consisting of a case that splits along both sides when ripe and having the seeds attach to one side of the case
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