1. The small black pungent seeds of an annual herb (Nigella sativa) of the buttercup family native to southwest Asia, used as a seasoning in southern and western Asian cuisines and for medicinal purposes. Also called nigella.
2. The dark brown, crescent-shaped seeds of an herb (Bunium persicum) of the parsley family native to southwest Asia, used as a seasoning in southern and western Asian cuisines.
[Sense 2, translation of Hindi kālā jīrā (kālā, black + jīrā, cumin) and Urdu kālā zīra (kālā, black + zīra, cumin).]
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