What does Vanilla mean?

Definitions for Vanilla
vəˈnɪl ə or, often, -ˈnɛl əVanil·la

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Vanilla.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. vanilla(noun)

    any of numerous climbing plants of the genus Vanilla having fleshy leaves and clusters of large waxy highly fragrant white or green or topaz flowers

  2. vanilla, vanilla extract(noun)

    a flavoring prepared from vanilla beans macerated in alcohol (or imitating vanilla beans)

  3. vanilla(adj)

    a distinctive fragrant flavor characteristic of vanilla beans

  4. vanilla(adj)

    flavored with vanilla extract

    "he liked vanilla ice cream"

  5. vanilla(adj)

    plain and without any extras or adornments

    "the most common type of bond is the straight or plain vanilla bond"; "the basic car is known as the vanilla version"


  1. vanilla(Noun)

    Any tropical, climbing orchid of the genus Vanilla (especially Vanilla planifolia), bearing podlike fruit yielding an extract used in flavoring food or in perfumes.

    Etymology: From vainilla, diminunitive of vaina

  2. vanilla(Noun)

    The fruit or bean of the vanilla plant.

    Etymology: From vainilla, diminunitive of vaina

  3. vanilla(Noun)

    The extract of the fruit of the vanilla plant.

    Etymology: From vainilla, diminunitive of vaina

  4. vanilla(Noun)

    The distinctive fragrant flavour/flavor characteristic of vanilla extract.

    You can tell that the secret ingredient missing from New Coke was vanilla, because certain South American economies collapsed when it was introduced, and miraculously revived when the old formula was used again.

    Etymology: From vainilla, diminunitive of vaina

  5. vanilla(Noun)

    Any artificially produced homologue of vanilla extract, principally vanillin produced from lignin from the paper industry or from petrochemicals.

    Etymology: From vainilla, diminunitive of vaina

  6. vanilla(Adjective)

    By association with vanilla as the "plain" flavour of ice cream: the standard, plain, default, unmodified, basic.

    vanilla suit.

    Etymology: From vainilla, diminunitive of vaina

Webster Dictionary

  1. Vanilla(noun)

    a genus of climbing orchidaceous plants, natives of tropical America

    Etymology: [NL., fr. Sp. vainilla, dim. of Sp. vaina a sheath, a pod, L. vagina; because its grains, or seeds, are contained in little pods.]

  2. Vanilla(noun)

    the long podlike capsules of Vanilla planifolia, and V. claviculata, remarkable for their delicate and agreeable odor, for the volatile, odoriferous oil extracted from them; also, the flavoring extract made from the capsules, extensively used in confectionery, perfumery, etc

    Etymology: [NL., fr. Sp. vainilla, dim. of Sp. vaina a sheath, a pod, L. vagina; because its grains, or seeds, are contained in little pods.]


  1. Vanilla

    Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla. The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, simply translates as little pod. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs, and Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. Initial attempts to cultivate vanilla outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the vanilla orchid and its natural pollinator, the local species of Melipona bee. Pollination is required to set the fruit from which the flavoring is derived. In 1837, Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant. The method proved financially unworkable and was not deployed commercially. In 1841, Edmond Albius, a 12-year-old slave who lived on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, discovered the plant could be hand-pollinated. Hand-pollination allowed global cultivation of the plant.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Vanilla

    va-nil′a, n. the dried aromatic sheath-like pod or fruit of a tropical epiphytal orchid, a favourite confection.—adj. Vanill′ic. [Latinised from Fr. vanille—Sp. vainillavaina—L. vagina, a sheath.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. vanilla

    [from the default flavor of ice cream in the U.S.] Ordinary flavor, standard. When used of food, very often does not mean that the food is flavored with vanilla extract! For example, vanilla wonton soup means ordinary wonton soup, as opposed to hot-and-sour wonton soup. Applied to hardware and software, as in “Vanilla Version 7 Unix can't run on a vanilla 11/34.” Also used to orthogonalize chip nomenclature; for instance, a 74V00 means what TI calls a 7400, as distinct from a 74LS00, etc. This word differs from canonical in that the latter means ‘default’, whereas vanilla simply means ‘ordinary’. For example, when hackers go on a great-wall, hot-and-sour soup is the canonical soup to get (because that is what most of them usually order) even though it isn't the vanilla (wonton) soup.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Vanilla

    A plant genus of the family ORCHIDACEAE that is the source of the familiar flavoring used in foods and medicines (FLAVORING AGENTS).

How to pronounce Vanilla?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say Vanilla in sign language?

  1. vanilla


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Vanilla in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Vanilla in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of Vanilla in a Sentence

  1. Georgina Argamonte:

    Yeah, because it's a little bit of lemon and vanilla and so it's a little bit of sweet and tart. So, I think that mixes with their personality.

  2. Dipayan Biswas:

    Vanilla doesn't stand out, things that are outrageous and out of the ordinary always get attention.

  3. Michael Calvin:

    The same small group of managers are employed because they are the strongest brands in the market, in previous generations it was all player-driven but modern-day players are pretty vanilla and so managers have the perceived personality.

  4. Gerard Cassidy:

    These are portfolios of a bygone era that were very, very painful for the banks, america Corp executives are not plain vanilla portfolios, which means America Corp executives are more costly to manage. It may just not be worth the headache.

  5. Boey Yin Chong:

    Banks that look at plain vanilla deals only or just buyout event deals have felt the strain.

Images & Illustrations of Vanilla

  1. VanillaVanillaVanillaVanillaVanilla

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Vanilla

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Vanilla »


Find a translation for the Vanilla definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss these Vanilla definitions with the community:


    Word of the Day

    Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

    Please enter your email address:


    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "Vanilla." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 18 Sep. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Vanilla>.

    Are we missing a good definition for Vanilla? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Vanilla:

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.