• WordNet 3.6
    • n plantain starchy banana-like fruit; eaten (always cooked) as a staple vegetable throughout the tropics
    • n plantain a banana tree bearing hanging clusters of edible angular greenish starchy fruits; tropics and subtropics
    • n plantain any of numerous plants of the genus Plantago; mostly small roadside or dooryard weeds with elliptic leaves and small spikes of very small flowers; seeds of some used medicinally
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are more than 500 varieties of banana in the world: The most common kinds are Dwarf Cavendish, Valery, and Williams Hybrid bananas. Other types of bananas include Apple and a small red banana called the Red Jamaica. A large type of banana called the plantain is hard and starchy and is almost eaten as a cooked vegetable. The Cavendish is the most common variety of bananas now imported to the United States. The Cavendish is a shorter, stubbier plant than earlier varieties. It was developed to resist plant diseases, insects and windstorms better than its predecessors. The Cavendish fruit is of medium size, has a creamier, smooth texture, and a thinner peel than earlier varieties.
    • Plantain (Bot) A treelike perennial herb (Musa paradisiaca) of tropical regions, bearing immense leaves and large clusters of the fruits called plantains. See Musa.
    • n Plantain (Bot) Any plant of the genus Plantago, but especially the Plantago major, a low herb with broad spreading radical leaves, and slender spikes of minute flowers. It is a native of Europe, but now found near the abode of civilized man in nearly all parts of the world.
    • Plantain The fruit of this plant. It is long and somewhat cylindrical, slightly curved, and, when ripe, soft, fleshy, and covered with a thick but tender yellowish skin. The plantain is a staple article of food in most tropical countries, especially when cooked.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n plantain A plant of the genus Plantago, especially P. major, the common or greater plantain. This is a familiar dooryard weed, with large spreading leaves close to the ground, and slender spikes; it is a native of Europe and temperate Asia, but is now found nearly everywhere. (See hen-plant and way-bread.) The English plantain (so called in the United States) is P. lanceolata, the ribwort, rib-grass, or ripple-grass, of the same nativity as the former. It has narrow leaves with prominent ribs, and slender stalks a foot or two high, with short thick spikes. (See cocks and jackstraw.) The sea-plantain or seaside plantain, P. maritima, with linear leaves, occurs on muddy shores in both hemispheres. The leaf is bound upon in-flamed surfaces with a soothing effect. See also cut under amphitropous.
    • n plantain A tropical plant, Musa paradisaca or its fruit. The plantain closely resembles the banana, and is in fact often regarded as a variety of it. It is distinguished to the eye by purple spots on trie stem, and by its longer fruit. The plantain-fruit is commonly eaten cooked before fully mature, while the banana is mostly eaten fresh when ripe. The pulp is dried and pulverized to make meal. The fresh fruit is comparable chemically with the potato, the meal with rice. The plantain, together with the banana, supplies the chief food of millions in the tropics. Though less nutritious than wheat or potatoes, it is produced in vastly larger quantities from the same area, and with far less effort. Sometimes called Adam's apple, from the fancy that this was the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden; the specific name refers to the same fancy. See Musa and banana.
    • n plantain Plantago aristata, a species with very narrow leaves and long narrow bracts, native mostly west of the Mississippi but now a common weed eastward from Maine to Georgia.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Plantain plan′tān an important food-plant of tropical countries, so called from its broad leaf: a common roadside plant of several species, with broad leaves and seed-bearing spikes
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. plantain-arbre, plantanier, Sp. plántano, plátano,; prob. same word as plane, tree
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. plantago, plantaginis.


In literature:

All four returned in little more than an hour, and sat down under a wild plantain tree, not three feet from Frank's place of concealment.
"Golden Days for Boys and Girls" by Various
As soon as Mrs. Woodchuck had finished her meal of plantain leaves, Billy reminded her that she had promised to look at his play-house.
"The Tale of Billy Woodchuck" by Arthur Scott Bailey
A blue dragon-fly settled on a water-plantain.
"Wood Magic" by Richard Jefferies
The araguatoes, with dried plantains and cassava, were the food of our travellers for several days after.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Then it dropped again, and the cane toyed with the plantain.
"It Might Have Been" by Emily Sarah Holt
In those days of my infancy I used to fancy I should like to try to take as large a bite of a plantain as she could.
"Heads and Tales" by Various
A West India dish, consisting of boiled plantain beat into a paste and fried.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
All round the trees bent before the squall, and the large plantain leaves flew about, torn into ribbons.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
By this shortening process the top or crown of a dandelion or plantain is pulled down beneath the surface of the ground.
"Seed Dispersal" by William J. Beal
I wrapped it tenderly in a plantain-leaf, and laid it beside my last lost kitty.
"Stories of Many Lands" by Grace Greenwood

In poetry:

Roar, surf, on the outer reef.
Sing, bird, on the plantain leaf.
Here is the Season of Joyous Living!
Have done with grief.
"Christmas in Alurio" by Theodore Goodridge Roberts
We gather and gather the plantains;
Come gather them anyhow.
Yes, gather and gather the plantains,
And here we have got them now.
"The Song Of The Plantain-Gatherers" by Confucius
We gather and gather the plantains;
Now off the ears we must tear.
Yes, gather and gather the plantains,
And now the seeds are laid bare.
"The Song Of The Plantain-Gatherers" by Confucius
'"Sent rich plantains, food of angels;
Rich ananas, food of kings;
Grudged you none of all my treasures:
Save these lovely useless things."
"The Legend of La Brea" by Charles Kingsley
We gather and gather the plantains,
The seeds in our skirts are placed.
Yes, gather and gather the plantains.
Ho! safe in the girdled waist!
"The Song Of The Plantain-Gatherers" by Confucius
"With jealous rage he mark'd my love
"He sent thee far away;—
"And prison'd in the plantain grove—
"Poor ZELMA pass'd the day—
"But ere the moon rose high above the main,
"ZELMA, and Love contriv'd, to break the Tyrant's chain.
"The Negro Girl" by Mary Darby Robinson

In news:

Heat the oil to 350 degrees and deep fry the plantains until golden brown.
Remove plantains from oil and place on absorbent paper to remove excess oil.
The plantains should be mostly brown with only a little yellow.
Plantains with any green on them will not be sweet.
6 very ripe plantains , unpeeled.
Peel, trim and discard any tough ends from the plantains .
Combine eggs, cream and plantains in a blender and mix well.
He had some plantains that would go bad while he was gone and needed to get them off of his hands.
Chicken with plantains, and a lot more, at Telamar.
Plantains, yucca and vibrant spices are just some of the lovely 'Flavors of Peru'.
Gingerbread Spiced Sweet Potato-Plantain Mash .
3 plantains, very ripe, approximately 2 cups.
Roast Pork is salty, but not overly so, and comes with either yuca or plantain casserole.
Plantains are a staple in many areas of the world, including Puerto Rico.
On a road trip from San Juan to the Puerto Rican rain forest, four-star chef Eric Ripert brakes for green coconuts and fried plantains, and finds the inspiration to create eight marvelous Latin-accented recipes.