rhu·​barb | \ ˈrü-ˌbärb How to pronounce rhubarb (audio) \

Definition of rhubarb

1a : any of a genus (Rheum) of Asian plants of the buckwheat family having large leaves with thick petioles often used as food also : the petioles of rhubarb
b : the tart, succulent, usually pink or red petioles of rhubarb used especially in pies and preserves
2 : the dried rhizome and roots of any of various rhubarbs (such as Rheum officinale and R. palmatum) grown chiefly in temperate parts of China and used in folk medicine especially as a laxative, diuretic, and ulcer treatment
3 : a heated dispute or controversy

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Examples of rhubarb in a Sentence

The coach got into a rhubarb with the umpire. a basketball coach whose ranting rhubarbs with officials are the stuff of legend
Recent Examples on the Web Sour cherries and rhubarb dominate the tart, pleasing palate on this bright, crisp wine. Lana Bortolot, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Chopped rhubarb makes a nice, slightly tart addition, as well. Washington Post, 13 July 2021 My sister-in-law offered us ALL the rhubarb from her garden. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 16 June 2021 Bear Creek Winery in Homer accepts rhubarb for cash — in addition to blueberries, gooseberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, cranberries, apples and red and yellow raspberries, owner Louis Maurer said. Emily Mesner, Anchorage Daily News, 20 June 2021 Try using frozen strawberries in a delicious strawberry dessert such as this gorgeous strawberry-rhubarb crumble pie. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 June 2021 Next, just whisk together the ingredients for the cake batter, pour it on top of the rhubarb and bake. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, cornstarch, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla. BostonGlobe.com, 1 June 2021 Unlike that hybrid bred for its edible stalks, amaro makers use a type called Chinese or Turkey rhubarb. Beth Segal, cleveland, 28 May 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rhubarb

Middle English rubarbe, from Anglo-French reubarbe, from Medieval Latin reubarbarum, alteration of rha barbarum, literally, barbarian rhubarb

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The first known use of rhubarb was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rhubarb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhubarb. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for rhubarb



English Language Learners Definition of rhubarb

: a plant with large green leaves and with thick pink or red stems that are cooked and used in pies, jams, etc.
: an angry argument


rhu·​barb | \ ˈrü-ˌbärb How to pronounce rhubarb (audio) \

Kids Definition of rhubarb

: the thick juicy pink or red stems of a garden plant that have a tart flavor and are used cooked especially in jams and desserts


rhu·​barb | \ ˈrü-ˌbärb How to pronounce rhubarb (audio) \

Medical Definition of rhubarb

1 : any of several plants of the genus Rheum having large leaves with thick succulent petioles often used as food
2 : the dried rhizome and roots of any of several rhubarbs (especially Rheum officinale and R. palmatum) grown in China and Tibet and used as a purgative and stomachic

More from Merriam-Webster on rhubarb

Nglish: Translation of rhubarb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhubarb


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