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

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 Fresh rhubarb and a carton of juicy strawberries create a brilliantly hued pie that's perfect for in between the two sunny seasons. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 May 2024 Obregon said that some of the shop's favorite scents include lavender, strawberry rhubarb, lemon sugar, island mist and amber tobacco. Cathy Kozlowicz, Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2024 In a small bowl, toss rhubarb and remaining flour to coat. Ann Taylor Pittman, Southern Living, 8 May 2024 Gently spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, this elegant spring dessert lets rhubarb shine. Saveur Editors, Saveur, 20 Mar. 2013 Sweetens the custard filling to balance the tartness of the rhubarb. Ann Taylor Pittman, Southern Living, 8 May 2024 Peanut butter pie, Boston cream pie and whoopie pie are among the staples, while specialties like strawberry rhubarb pie are available on a seasonal basis. Philip Freeman, Charlotte Observer, 7 May 2024 Spring fruits like apricots, strawberries, and rhubarb infuse a vibrant sweetness to desserts and savory items alike. Kara Peeler, Sunset Magazine, 1 May 2024 Aperol is an Italian aperitif made with bitter orange, rhubarb, and other flavors. Michelle Darrisaw, Southern Living, 11 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rhubarb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 May. 2024.

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

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