- noun a plant that is the most important cereal crop and the staple food of half the population of the world.
- A cereal grain, Oryza sativa, cultivated in China since 6000 BC, grown extensively in warm moist climates and forming the principal energy source for a major part of the world’s population. There are thousands of different varieties but all have a high starch content and are between 3 and 6 mm long and about 2 mm in diameter. Varieties include long-grain, short-grain, brown, white, glutinous, pudding, polished, prefluffed, arborio, basmati, Carolina, fragrant, jasmine, Patna and Thai.
- noun a cereal grass that produces edible grains, or these grains used as food
Origin & History of “rice”
The word rice is presumably, like the plant it names, of oriental origin; its ancestor may well be represented in Sanskrit vrīhi-. It first appeared in Europe as Greek órūza. this passed into Latin as oryza, and eventually spread throughout the languages of Europe: French riz, Italian riso, Spanish arroz, German reis, Dutch rijst, Swedish and Russian ris, Welsh reis, Lithuanian rysai, English rice, etc.