rhubarb

noun

rhu·​barb ˈrü-ˌbärb How to pronounce rhubarb (audio)
1
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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 Pink Rhubarb Lemonade Make the most of your Farmers' market haul by turning in-season rhubarb into one lip-smacking sipper! Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Aug. 2022 When the liquids are almost fully incorporated, add the rhubarb and fold gently. BostonGlobe.com, 7 June 2022 Oh, and don’t forget the rhubarb which may actually be past its prime. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2022 Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Three Wick Candle by Molton Brown: As Molton Brown says, this candle is scented like a sweet-fruity swirl of Yorkshire rhubarb and vanilla. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 3 July 2022 Add the rhubarb and its juices to the pan, then pour in 3 Tbsp. Christian Reynoso, Bon Appétit, 26 May 2022 Here a person might find the Kurdish alchemilla, the Syrian rhubarb and the Iranian onion sharing a single clearing. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2022 This cake looks like a traditional birthday cake on the outside, but keeps things interesting with a strawberry-rhubarb filling. Olivia Muenter, Woman's Day, 14 Apr. 2022 Place the rhubarb, onion, figs, wine and sugar in a saucepan and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Star Tribune, 19 May 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rhubarb

Cite this Entry

“Rhubarb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhubarb. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

rhubarb

noun

rhu·​barb ˈrü-ˌbärb How to pronounce rhubarb (audio)
1
: a plant related to buckwheat and having large green leaves with thick juicy pink or red stems that are used for food
2
: a heated dispute or argument

Medical Definition

rhubarb

noun

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ