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Quinoa plants in Apurímac, Peru
Quinoa seeds
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Borrowing from Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa.


  • British English IPA(key): /ˈkiːnwɑː/, IPA(key): /kiːˈnəʊə/
  • U.S. English IPA(key): /ˈkinˌwɑ/, IPA(key): /k(w)əˈnoʊə/
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quinoa (countable and uncountable, plural quinoas)

  1. A goosefoot, Chenopodium quinoa, native to the Andes and cultivated for its edible seeds.
    • 1997, Derek B. Munro, Ernest Small, Vegetables of Canada, page 142,
      Chenopodium quinoa Will, (quinoa) is native to the Andes, and the seeds are a staple grain in parts of South America. The newly formed Canadian Quinoa Association anticipated growing about 400 ha of quinoa annually (Anonymous 1992e).
    • 1999 October, Lisa Turner, Have fun exploring the land of unconventional grains, Better Nutrition, page 70,
      Quinoa was cultivated about 3,000 years ago in the Andes mountain region, and was the favored crop of the Incas, who used it as a sacred plant in rituals.
    • 2007, Chittaranjan Kole, Pulses, Sugar and Tuber Crops, page 148,
      The oldest archeological remains of domesticated quinoa date to 5000 BC (Tapia 1979).
  2. The high-protein dried fruits and seeds of this plant, used as a food staple and ground into flour.
    • 2007, Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food, page 560,
      Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the quinoa, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    • 2007, Jonny Bowden, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, page 78,
      Quinoa is another of those foods that keeps getting miscategorized—everyone thinks it′s a grain, everyone uses it like a grain, but it′s actually a seed.
    • 2009, Miriam Backes, Bob′s Red Mill Cookbook: Whole & Healthy Grains for Every Meal of the Day, page 104,
      To use quinoa in a salad, spread it on a platter or baking sheet after cooking to allow it to cool and, more importantly, dry. Cooked quinoa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.





quinoa m, f (plural quinoas)

  1. quinoa

Usage notes[edit]

Traditionally a masculine noun but with frequent feminine usage.


Alternative forms[edit]


quinoa f (plural quinoas)

  1. quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, a pseudocereal of the Andes)