- noun a hardy cereal crop grown in temperate areas.
- A cereal grain, Secale cereale, which grows mainly in Baltic areas. Used for dense breads and crispbreads. A fungus, Claviceps purpurea, which grows on the seed heads, especially during wet harvesting weather, is responsible for a sickness ‘St Anthony’s fire’, characterized by hallucinations and mental derangement. An extract of the fungus is used to induce labour and as an illegal abortifacient.