rhi·​zome | \ˈrī-ˌzōm \

Definition of rhizome 

: a somewhat elongated usually horizontal subterranean plant stem that is often thickened by deposits of reserve food material, produces shoots above and roots below, and is distinguished from a true root in possessing buds, nodes, and usually scalelike leaves

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Other Words from rhizome

rhizomic \rī-​ˈzō-​mik, -​ˈzä-​ \ adjective

Examples of rhizome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Grass leaves grow much more slowly as the weather turns cool, but the grass roots and rhizomes continue to grow quickly. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "6 Tips to Get Your Lawn Ready for Fall," 24 Aug. 2018 January and February are the months for digging up rhizomes for replanting, Townsend said. Kym Pokorny, OregonLive.com, "How do you grow your own hops for home brewing?," 7 Jan. 2018 My local supermarket and health food store both have fresh rhizomes for sale in the winter. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Your Own Turmeric Indoors (It's Easier Than You Think)," 3 Feb. 2017 Commercial growers boost yields by watering regularly and hilling the rhizomes once a month. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way To Grow Spicy Ginger In Your Own House," 24 Oct. 2017 The rhizomes spread horizontally at a very slow rate, so won’t invade. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Need to screen off your neighbors? Here's how to grow a green privacy barrier," 27 June 2018 Whitetop, or Hoary cress, is a very tough perennial weed that spreads by rhizomes and seeds. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Know the proper ways to attack all of our plentiful weeds," 1 June 2018 Outdoors, even in pots, they are known to break through barriers with their creeping rhizomes. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "These plants are troublemakers in South Florida gardens. Avoid them. | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018 There’s information on vegetable and fruit gardens, wooded areas, bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes; goldfish ponds, perennial borders, conifers, winter gardens and seeds. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From pots to plots: New gardening books offer advice, ideas, inspiration," 23 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rhizome.' 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 rhizome

1833, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rhizome

New Latin rhizomat-, rhizoma, from Greek rhizōmat-, rhizōma mass of roots, from rhizoun to cause to take root, from rhiza root — more at root

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Statistics for rhizome

Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for rhizome

The first known use of rhizome was in 1833

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English Language Learners Definition of rhizome

botany : a thick plant stem that grows underground and has shoots and roots growing from it


rhi·​zome | \ˈrī-ˌzōm \

Medical Definition of rhizome 

: a usually horizontal subterranean plant stem that is distinguished from a true root in possessing buds, nodes, and usually scalelike leaves

More from Merriam-Webster on rhizome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rhizome

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhizome

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having a pattern of small flowers

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