cas·​sa·​va kə-ˈsä-və How to pronounce cassava (audio)
: any of several American plants (genus Manihot, especially M. esculenta) of the spurge family grown in the tropics for their edible tuberous roots which yield a nutritious starch
also : the root

called also mandioca, manioc, yuca, yucca

compare tapioca sense 1

Note: Since raw cassava contains glycosides which release cyanide when crushed, the leaves and roots must be soaked, cooked, or fermented before consumption to prevent poisoning.

Examples of cassava in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to Scott Keatley, RD, co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, traditional bubble tea pearls are made of tapioca, which is a starch extracted from cassava, a root vegetable. Korin Miller, Health, 9 May 2024 Cassava fritters, cassava fries, cassava cakes … cassava’s possibilities are nearly endless. Stephen Wooding, The Conversation, 1 May 2024 To be clear, both kinds of flour are made from the root of the cassava plant, but tapioca flour is made only from the starchy part of the vegetable, while cassava flour uses the whole root. Discover Magazine, 23 Apr. 2024 This starch is extracted from the roots of cassava plants. Samantha Lauriello, Health, 8 Apr. 2024 This Certified Gluten-Free pick is made from a grain-free blend featuring cassava flour and coconut flour. Good Housekeeping, 28 June 2023 Best Churro Strips Simple, wholesome ingredients like cassava flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean powder combine to create this better-for-you twist on a classic sweet treat. Good Housekeeping, 20 June 2023 Field Notes An ayurvedic breakfast of cassava mash, salad and squash and pumpkin seeds with a creamy roasted red pepper sauce. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 In his Bombay masala cassava, his baked eggs with tadka greens (the sort of nourishing dish that would drown a cold), and his chaat-style loaded twice-baked potatoes, a recipe which draws from Mumbai’s carnivalesque street food traditions. Meher Mirza, Vogue, 5 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cassava.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish cazabe cassava bread, from Taino caçábi

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cassava was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near cassava

Cite this Entry

“Cassava.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


cas·​sa·​va kə-ˈsäv-ə How to pronounce cassava (audio)
: any of several tropical plants with a fleshy root that yields a nourishing starch
also : the root or its starch compare tapioca

More from Merriam-Webster on cassava

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