Whole and sliced cassava roots.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- any of several tropical American plants, shrubs, and trees (genus Manihot, esp. M. esculenta) of the spurge family, having edible, starchy roots
- this root or a starch extracted from it, used in making bread and tapioca
Origin: French cassave ; from Spanish cazabe ; from Taino casávi, cazábbi
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun In both senses also called manioc, yuca.
- A shrubby tropical American plant (Manihot esculenta) widely grown for its large, tuberous, starchy roots.
- The root of this plant, eaten as a staple food in the tropics only after leaching and drying to remove cyanide. Cassava starch is also the source of tapioca.
Origin: Ultimately from Taino casavi, flour from manioc.