- any of several mostly climbing plants belonging to the genus Vicia, of the legume family, having pinnate leaves ending in tendrils and bearing pealike flowers, especially V. sativa (spring vetch), cultivated for forage and soil improvement.
- any of various allied plants, as Lathyrus sativus, of Europe, cultivated for their edible seeds and for forage.
- the beanlike seed or fruit of any such plant.
- any of various climbing leguminous plants of the temperate genus Vicia, esp V. sativa, having pinnate leaves, typically blue or purple flowers, and tendrils on the stems
- any of various similar and related plants, such as Lathyrus sativus, cultivated in parts of Europe, and the kidney vetch
- the beanlike fruit of any of these plants
late 14c., from Old North French veche, variant of Old French vece, from Latin vicia, which perhaps is related to vincire “to bind” (cf. second element of periwinkle (n.1)). Dutch wikke, German Wicke are loan-words from Latin vicia.