When a definite number, more than one, is spoken of, the plural form peas is used; as, the pod contained nine peas; but, in a collective sense, the form pease is preferred; as, a bushel of pease; they had pease at dinner. This distinction is not always preserved, the form peas being used in both senses.
2. A name given, especially in the southern states, to the seed of several leguminous plants (species of Dolichos, Cicer, abrus, etc) especially. Those having a scar (hilum) of a different colour from the rest of the seed.
Origin: OE. Pese, fr. AS. Pisa, or OF. Peis, F. Pois; both fr. L. Pisum; cf. Gr,. The final s was misunderstood in English as a plural ending. Cf. Pease.