cas·​sa·​va | \ kə-ˈsä-və How to pronounce cassava (audio) \

Definition of cassava

: 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 The tools, which unite the expertise of social scientists, gender experts and breeders, have been piloted in Uganda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe to set priorities for the development of new lines of sweet potato, cassava and beans. Vivian Polar, Scientific American, 25 July 2022 In West Africa, a group of leading bakers met in June to form an organization that lobbies for more local grains, like cassava, to be used in breads across the region. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 July 2022 Pour the milk mixture over the cassava flour and beat with a wooden spoon to combine. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 30 June 2022 This soft vanilla birthday cake donut is grain-free and packed with all-star ingredients like cassava flour, blanched almond flour, tapioca flour and coconut flour. Good Housekeeping, 28 June 2022 Nearly every night, under the light from Odil Morgo’s attiéké (cassava) and fish stand on the northern edge of Dakar, fellow Burkinabé immigrants hold court, eating dinner, drinking coffee, and laughing. Nick Roll, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 June 2022 In addition to a small menu of coffees, owner Alexandra Moran serves traditional Ecuadorian pastries like alfajores cookies and pan de yuca, a savory cheese bun made from cassava flour. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 22 June 2022 The Colombian kind features plantains, cassava and choclo (corn), and is also referred to as comfort food. Antonia Mufarech, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 June 2022 Don't confuse this with cassava flour, which is more fibrous and made using the whole root. Antara Sinha, Bon Appétit, 13 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of cassava

1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cassava

Spanish cazabe cassava bread, from Taino caçábi

Learn More About cassava

Time Traveler for cassava

Time Traveler

The first known use of cassava was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cassava




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cassava

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cassava.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on cassava

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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