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 Top each serving of pudding with some of the rhubarb and a nice pouf of cream. Jessica Battilana, SFChronicle.com, "Vanilla pudding recipe with roasted rhubarb is a cool bowl of comfort," 12 June 2020 Slice rhubarb into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Embracing the wider world': Spices sell quickly as coronavirus encourages home cooks," 8 July 2020 Combine the rhubarb, sugar and cardamom pods in a 9 by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Jessica Battilana, SFChronicle.com, "Vanilla pudding recipe with roasted rhubarb is a cool bowl of comfort," 12 June 2020 Simmer over medium heat until the rhubarb is completely broken down. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "Splash this simple rhubarb-thyme shrub in your bubbly water today," 4 June 2020 Its distinguishing feature is Aperol, a bright orange bitter Italian liqueur of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Italian Cocktails You Can Make at Home," 27 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, cook fresh strawberries, rhubarb, and 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until fruit is softened and begins to break down; cool completely. Sara And Kory Martin, Country Living, "Strawberry Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt," 15 Apr. 2020 But true rhubarb fans know that rhubarb is so much more versatile than just a pie filling. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "18 Rhubarb Recipes To Love Beyond Rhubarb Pie," 12 May 2020 Clockwise from top left: chocolate chip, blueberry with poppy seeds, citrus-honeycomb,and strawberry-rhubarb scones from Sqirl pastry chef Catalina Flores. Los Angeles Times, "Sqirl’s famous scone recipe is now yours for the baking," 29 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for rhubarb

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rhubarb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhubarb. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for rhubarb


How to pronounce rhubarb (audio)

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.
US, informal + old-fashioned : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rhubarb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rhubarb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rhubarb

Spanish Central: Translation of rhubarb

Nglish: Translation of rhubarb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhubarb

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