Bean (?), n. [OE. bene,�xa0;n; akin to D. boon, G. bohne, OHG. pna, Icel. baun, Dan. bonne, Sw. bona, and perh. to Russ. bob, L. faba.]

1. Bot.

A name given to the seed of certain leguminous herbs, chiefly of the genera Faba, Phaseolus, and Dolichos; also, to the herbs.

⇒ The origin and classification of many kinds are still doubtful. Among true beans are: the black-eyed bean and China bean, included in Dolichos Sinensis; black Egyptian bean or hyacinth bean, D. Lablab; the common haricot beans, kidney beans, string beans, and pole beans, all included in Phaseolus vulgaris; the lower bush bean, Ph. vulgaris, variety nanus; Lima bean, Ph. lunatus; Spanish bean and scarlet runner, Ph. maltiflorus; Windsor bean, the common bean of England, Faba vulgaris.

As an article of food beans are classed with vegetables.


The popular name of other vegetable seeds or fruits, more or less resembling true beans.

Bean aphis Zool., a plant louse (Aphis fabae) which infests the bean plant. -- Bean fly Zool., a fly found on bean flowers. -- Bean goose Zool., a species of goose (Anser segetum). -- Bean weevil Zool., a small weevil that in the larval state destroys beans. The American species in Bruchus fabae. -- Florida bean Bot., the seed of Mucuna urens, a West Indian plant. The seeds are washed up on the Florida shore, and are often polished and made into ornaments. -- Ignatius bean, or St. Ignatius's bean Bot., a species of Strychnos. -- Navy bean, the common dried white bean of commerce; probably so called because an important article of food in the navy. -- Pea bean, a very small and highly esteemed variety of the edible white bean; -- so called from its size. -- Sacred bean. See under Sacred. -- Screw bean. See under Screw. -- Sea bean. (a) Same as Florida bean. (b) A red bean of unknown species used for ornament. -- Tonquin bean, or Tonka bean, the fragrant seed of Dipteryx odorata, a leguminous tree. -- Vanilla bean. See under Vanilla.


© Webster 1913.