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 Curious about how the nutrition facts of cassava compare to regular wheat flour? Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Cassava Flour Is Making a Name for Itself in Gluten-Free Baking: Here's How to Use It," 17 June 2020 Bitter cassava contains cyanide, so care must be taken to process it properly. National Geographic, "Gordon Ramsay Voyages Deep Into the Rainforest of Guyana," 20 May 2020 The Brazilian-inflected dishes include coffee-roast short ribs, vegetarian ceviche and cassava fries (entrees $15 to $29). Cindy Hirschfeld, New York Times, "Utah Powder and Steeps, Without the Crowds," 18 Feb. 2020 Kabocha flour has my heart, but now I’m inspired to play around with fonio, rice, cassava, and honeybean too. Kyle Beechey, Bon Appétit, "Kabocha Squash Flour Is My New Go-To for Gluten-Free Baking," 15 May 2020 Tribespeople provide for themselves by hunting, gathering and fishing, as well as cultivating crops such as manioc (cassava or yuca) and bananas, which are grown in large gardens cleared from the forest. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Teen in remote Amazonian tribe tests positive for coronavirus," 11 Apr. 2020 Which means, even if the supermarket baking aisle shelves continue to offer up slim pickings — cassava flour, anyone? Melissa Clark, New York Times, "You Don’t Need All-Purpose Flour for This Poundcake," 10 Apr. 2020 The book concentrates on traditional African dishes, with ingredients like cassava, okra, baobab leaf and red palm oil. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "How to Serve Fonio," 24 Feb. 2020 More than 46 other residents of Huang’s village were poisoned as early as the 1970s as a lead-zinc mine funneled wastewater for years into a ditch that locals used to irrigate their fields of cassava and sugar cane. Washington Post, "Chinese metal mines feed the global demand for gadgets. They’re also poisoning China’s poorest regions.," 29 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of cassava

1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cassava

Spanish cazabe cassava bread, from Taino caçábi

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Time Traveler for cassava

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The first known use of cassava was in 1555

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Cite this Entry

“Cassava.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce cassava (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cassava

: a tropical plant with thick roots that are used to make small white grains (called tapioca) that are used in cooking

More from Merriam-Webster on cassava

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

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