- an aquatic cereal grass (esp. Oryza sativa) grown widely in warm climates, esp. in East Asia
- the starchy seeds or grains of this grass, used as food
Origin of riceMiddle English rys ; from Old French ris ; from Italian riso ; from Classical Latin oryza ; from Classical Greek oryza, oryzon: of Asian origin, originally ; akin to Pashto vrižē, Sanskrit vrīhiḥ, rice
- A cereal grass (Oryza sativa) that is cultivated extensively in warm climates for its edible grain.
- The starchy grain of this plant, used as a staple food throughout the world.
transitive verbriced riced, ric·ing, ric·es
Origin of riceMiddle English, from Old French ris, from Old Italian riso, from Latin oryza, from Greek oruza, of Indo-Iranian origin.
(third-person singular simple present rices, present participle ricing, simple past and past participle riced)
- To squeeze through a ricer; to mash or make into rice-sized pieces.
- To throw rice at a person (usually at a wedding).
- To belittle a government emissary or similar on behalf of a more powerful militaristic state.
- To harvest wild rice Zinzania sp.
Middle English rys, from Old French ris, from Old Italian riso, risi, from Byzantine Greek ὄρυζα (óryza), ὄρυζον (óryzon). This is usually held to be a borrowing from Old Iranian (cf. Old Persian brizi, Pashto wrižē, Kurdish birinc), in turn probably borrowed from Sanskrit व्रीहि (vrīhí). The Sanskrit term is either a loan from Dravidian – compare Proto-Dravidian *wariñci (“rice”) – or, according to Witzel, borrowed from an unknown South Asian, possibly Austroasiatic, source, with the Dravidian word being an independent borrowing of another variant. Old Tamil அரிசி (arici), from earlier *ariki, is not the source of the Greek word, however, according to Krishnamurti (2003) apud Witzel (2009). In contrast, Witzel (1999) had maintained, following Southworth (1979), that the Greek term goes back to Old Tamil arici – itself from an older form *ariki, an early (ca. 1500 BC) borrowing from Munda according to Southworth (1988).