noun, often attributive
bam·​boo | \(ˌ)bam-ˈbü, ˈbam-ˌ \
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

Monk Suphachai Suthiyano, 64, allegedly assaulted Wattanapol Sisawad, 9, with a bamboo stick and slammed the boy's head against a pillar before Sisawad fell into a coma last weekend, AFP reported. Caleb Parke, Fox News, "Buddhist monk beats, kills child, 9, during prayer session, authorities say," 24 Aug. 2018 He and two others were beset by a mob wielding bricks and bamboo sticks in a crowded market Thursday. Annie Gowen,, "Mob lynchings fueled by fake news on WhatsApp sweep India," 2 July 2018 Rafiq was busily repairing his shelter on a muggy morning days after the storm, tying and retying knots of rope to hold sticks of bamboo in place. Shashank Bengali,, "Rohingya Muslims who escaped the Myanmar army now brace for a threat they can't outrun: Rain," 30 May 2018 Their brand, Who Gives a Crap, makes its toilet paper out of bamboo, which is faster growing and more sustainable than toilet paper made of tree pulp. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Earth-Friendly Gear You Can Feel Good About Buying," 17 Apr. 2018 Several Malian performers take part in the performance, including Ballaké Sissoko, a virtuoso on the kora (a kind of harp-lute), while the Malagasy musician Rajery plays valiha (Madagascar’s signature bamboo-tube zither). Thomas May, The Seattle Times, "‘The Routes of Slavery’ traces a musical journey of resilience in the face of inhumanity," 31 Oct. 2018 Thanks to a slew of workshops featuring bamboo wood carving, lauhala (leaf) weaving, Ni’hau jewelry making, and sarong dying to name a few, West Oahu is the art guru’s ultimate go-to destination. Marissa Miller, Teen Vogue, "13 Dream Vacations to Add to Your Bucket List," 24 Oct. 2018 The brand says that Blackdrop gets its color from the formula's mix of mattifying bamboo charcoal powder and smoothing black pearl, while vitamin E hydrates and phytoplankton extract wards off pollution. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "This Black Primer Works Like Magic on Your Skin," 24 Sep. 2018 Venezuelan artist Mariet Vergara painted a mural in a corner based on a tropical fabric that Ortiz used in her spring/summer 2016 collection; Vergara also created a trompe l’oeil bamboo motif for a guest room’s headboard. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "This Colombian Fashion Designer Brings a Sophisticated Spirit Into Her Cartagena Home," 9 Aug. 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.

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First Known Use of bamboo

1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bamboo

Malay bambu

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Statistics for bamboo

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for bamboo

The first known use of bamboo was in 1586

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More Definitions for bamboo



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 \

Kids Definition of bamboo

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

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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).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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