Pea Pea, n.; pl. {Peas}or {Pease}. [OE. pese, fr. AS. pisa, or OF. peis, F. pois; both fr. L. pisum; cf. Gr. ?, ?. The final s was misunderstood in English as a plural ending. Cf. {Pease}.] 1. (Bot.) A plant, and its fruit, of the genus {Pisum}, of many varieties, much cultivated for food. It has a papilionaceous flower, and the pericarp is a legume, popularly called a pod. [1913 Webster]

Note: When a definite number, more than one, is spoken of, the plural form peas is used; as, the pod contained nine peas; but, in a collective sense, the form pease is preferred; as, a bushel of pease; they had pease at dinner. This distinction is not always preserved, the form peas being used in both senses. [1913 Webster]

2. A name given, especially in the Southern States, to the seed of several leguminous plants (species of {Dolichos}, {Cicer}, {Abrus}, etc.) esp. those having a scar (hilum) of a different color from the rest of the seed. [1913 Webster]

Note: The name pea is given to many leguminous plants more or less closely related to the common pea. See the Phrases, below. [1913 Webster]

{Beach pea} (Bot.), a seashore plant, {Lathyrus maritimus}.

{Black-eyed pea}, a West Indian name for {Dolichos sph[ae]rospermus} and its seed.

{Butterfly pea}, the American plant {Clitoria Mariana}, having showy blossoms.

{Chick pea}. See {Chick-pea}.

{Egyptian pea}. Same as {Chick-pea}.

{Everlasting pea}. See under {Everlasting}.

{Glory pea}. See under {Glory}, n.

{Hoary pea}, any plant of the genus {Tephrosia}; goat's rue.

{Issue pea}, {Orris pea}. (Med.) See under {Issue}, and {Orris}.

{Milk pea}. (Bot.) See under {Milk}.

{Pea berry}, a kind of a coffee bean or grain which grows single, and is round or pea-shaped; often used adjectively; as, pea-berry coffee.

{Pea bug}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Pea weevil}.

{Pea coal}, a size of coal smaller than nut coal.

{Pea crab} (Zo["o]l.), any small crab of the genus {Pinnotheres}, living as a commensal in bivalves; esp., the European species ({Pinnotheres pisum}) which lives in the common mussel and the cockle.

{Pea dove} (Zo["o]l.), the American ground dove.

{Pea-flower tribe} (Bot.), a suborder ({Papilionace[ae]}) of leguminous plants having blossoms essentially like that of the pea. --G. Bentham.

{Pea maggot} (Zo["o]l.), the larva of a European moth ({Tortrix pisi}), which is very destructive to peas.

{Pea ore} (Min.), argillaceous oxide of iron, occurring in round grains of a size of a pea; pisolitic ore.

{Pea starch}, the starch or flour of the common pea, which is sometimes used in adulterating wheat flour, pepper, etc.

{Pea tree} (Bot.), the name of several leguminous shrubs of the genus {Caragana}, natives of Siberia and China.

{Pea vine}. (Bot.) (a) Any plant which bears peas. (b) A kind of vetch or tare, common in the United States ({Lathyrus Americana}, and other similar species).

{Pea weevil} (Zo["o]l.), a small weevil ({Bruchus pisi}) which destroys peas by eating out the interior.

{Pigeon pea}. (Bot.) See {Pigeon pea}.

{Sweet pea} (Bot.), the annual plant {Lathyrus odoratus}; also, its many-colored, sweet-scented blossoms. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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