pea / pē/ • n. 1. a spherical green seed that is widely eaten as a vegetable. ∎ any of a number of edible spherical seeds of the pea family, e.g., chickpea and black-eyed pea. 2. the widely cultivated Eurasian climbing plant (Pisum sativum) that yields pods containing these seeds. The pea family (Leguminosae, or Fabaceae) is sometimes divided among three smaller families: Papilionaceae (peas, beans, clovers, vetches, brooms, laburnums), Mimosaceae (mimosas, acacias), and Caesalpiniaceae (cassia, carob, and many tropical timber trees). ∎ used in names of other plants of this family that yield round seeds or have flowers resembling those of the pea, e.g., sweet pea.PHRASES: like peas (or two peas) in a pod so similar as to be indistinguishable or nearly so.