(3 syl.). Oily grain of the natural order Pedaliaceae, originally from India. In Egypt they eat sesame cakes, and the Jews frequently add the seed to their bread. The cakes made of sesame oil, mixed with honey and preserved citron, are considered an Oriental luxury; sesame is excellent also for puddings. (See Open Sesame.)
“Among the numerous objects ... was a black horse ... On one side of its manager there was clean barley and sesame and the other was filled with rose-water.” —Arabian Nights (Third Calender).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894