noun, often attributive
bam·​boo | \ (ˌ)bam-ˈbü How to pronounce bamboo (audio) , ˈbam-ˌ How to pronounce bamboo (audio) \
plural bamboos

Definition of bamboo

: any of various woody or arborescent grasses (as of the genera Bambusa, Arundinaria, and Dendrocalamus of the subfamily Bambusoideae) of tropical and temperate regions having hollow stems, thick rhizomes, and shoots that are used for food also : the jointed stem of bamboo used especially for building, furniture, and utensils

Illustration of bamboo

Illustration of bamboo

Examples of bamboo in a Sentence

Bamboo grows in the grove near the house. We cut down some bamboos.
Recent Examples on the Web Unilever has already started selling products including toothbrushes made of bamboo, and cardboard deodorant sticks and refillable toothpaste tablets. Washington Post, "Consumer goods giant Unilever vows to slash use of plastic," 7 Oct. 2019 Unilever has already started selling products including toothbrushes made of bamboo, and cardboard deodorant sticks and refillable toothpaste tablets. Mike Corder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Consumer goods giant Unilever vows to slash use of plastic," 7 Oct. 2019 Wenge wood, bamboo, and marble make up the palatial interior. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything We Know About Kylie Jenner’s Luxurious Birthday Yacht," 5 Aug. 2019 In the video, the mother-daughter duo show off a number of their essential Thai cooking ingredients including Mama tom-yum noodles (which Pepper makes for Chrissy at 2 a.m. some nights!), bamboo shoots, and Squid fish sauce. Mary Honkus,, "Take a Tour of Chrissy Teigen's Pantry as Her Mom Reveals Her Thai Food Essentials," 22 Nov. 2019 The chicken broth is infused with this distinctive salinity and topped with corn, bamboo shoots, a soft-boiled egg and our selection of chicken, which was thinly sliced and simply seared with the nest of noodles bringing it all together. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "The best noodle shop in Louisville might be this ramen hot spot in the Highlands," 23 Oct. 2019 For many years, giant pandas, which are native to China, were one of the world’s most endangered creatures as unbridled development decimated their natural habitats in bamboo forests. Charlie Campbell, Time, "'I Get to Hug Them All the Time.' What It's Like to Take Care of a Pair of History-Making Panda Cubs," 31 July 2019 There is a great short hike here through a bamboo forest to a delicate 400-foot waterfall. Mark Arsenault,, "A beach agnostic’s guide to Hawaii," 13 June 2018 What was once home to picnicking chimps is now a quiet walk among bamboo forests and over stone bridges overlooking waterlilly-laden streams. Richard Tribou,, "Explore Florida's Indian River County: Lillies and bamboo star of McKee Botanical Gardens," 6 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bamboo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bamboo

1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bamboo

Malay bambu

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bamboo

Time Traveler for bamboo

Time Traveler

The first known use of bamboo was in 1586

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bamboo

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bamboo.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bamboo


How to pronounce bamboo (audio) How to pronounce bamboo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bamboo

: a tall plant with hard hollow stems that are used for building and to make furniture, tools, etc.


bam·​boo | \ bam-ˈbü How to pronounce bamboo (audio) \

Kids Definition of bamboo

: a tall treelike tropical grass with a hard hollow jointed stem that is used in making furniture and in building

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bamboo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bamboo

Spanish Central: Translation of bamboo

Nglish: Translation of bamboo for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bamboo

Comments on bamboo

What made you want to look up bamboo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!