\ ˈrīs How to pronounce rice (audio) \

Definition of rice

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: the starchy seeds of an annual southeast Asian cereal grass (Oryza sativa) that are cooked and used for food also : this cereal grass that is widely cultivated in warm climates for its seeds and by-products — compare wild rice

Definition of RICE (Entry 2 of 4)

rest, ice, compression, elevation


biographical name (1)
\ ˈrīs How to pronounce Rice (audio) \

Definition of Rice (Entry 3 of 4)

Condoleezza 1954–     U.S. Secretary of State (2005–09)


biographical name (2)

Definition of Rice (Entry 4 of 4)

Elmer Leopold 1892–1967 originally Elmer Reizenstein American dramatist

Illustration of rice

Illustration of rice


In the meaning defined above

Examples of rice in a Sentence


Rice is the main crop of the country.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yet her food is personal, too: Stewed red beans and rice have become a cold salad flecked with scallions. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Fernay McPherson and the movement that found success away from her native Fillmore," 11 May 2018 Developed by kitchen manager Michael Broida, the fried chicken is dusted with rice flour and potato starch, then twice fried for crispiness. Nikki Delamotte, cleveland.com, "Korean fried chicken, mochi and more come to Cleveland's Superelectric Pinball Parlor," 30 Apr. 2018 Chewy, crackly rice flour French bread comes from a French-Vietnamese bakery in Chicago. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "A ramen and banh mi shop is coming to Fountain Square," 4 Apr. 2018 Key dishes include kitchari, a basmati-rice porridge made with split mung beans and turmeric; bone-broth ramen; and red curry with sweet potato noodles. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, "Treat Your Baby—and Yourself—Like Royalty With These Luxe Essentials," 20 May 2019 The answer all comes down to the ingredients — specifically, Tatcha's proprietary hadasei-3 complex, which is a blend of three Japanese ingredients: Uji green tea, Okinawa Mozuku algae, and Akita rice. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "Why Tatcha Created Its New Satin Skin Mist Specifically for Oily Complexions," 17 May 2019 The entire thing is probably four or five stories high, all open to the outdoors and there’s this river that runs through it, surrounded by rice patties and this gorgeous jungle. Joanna Saltz, House Beautiful, "Designers Reveal Their Unexpected Sources for Decorating Inspo," 12 Apr. 2019 It's made from the same rice ingredient as Mochi, resulting in a lightly color batter and a delicious rich, buttery vanilla flavor. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Trader Joe's Is Releasing 7 New Products for Spring and Summer," 9 Apr. 2019 The government now risks losing its grip over food distribution as truckloads of U.S. aid—including lentils, rice and flour—arrived in Cúcuta earlier this month. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Venezuela’s Oil Chief, Says Food Aid Will Be Flown to Border," 15 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rice


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rice


Middle English rys, from Anglo-French ris, from Old Italian riso, from Greek oryza, oryzon, of Iranian origin; akin to Pashto wriže rice; akin to Sanskrit vrīhi rice

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rice

Dictionary Entries near rice







rice bean

Statistics for rice

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rice

The first known use of rice was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rice



English Language Learners Definition of rice

: small white or brown grains that come from a southeast Asian plant and that are used for food
: the plant that produces rice


\ ˈrīs How to pronounce rice (audio) \

Kids Definition of rice

: the small seeds of a tall cereal grass widely grown in warm wet regions that are the chief food in many parts of the world

Medical Definition of RICE

rest, ice, compression, elevation used especially for the initial treatment of many usually minor sports-related injuries (as sprains)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rice

Spanish Central: Translation of rice

Nglish: Translation of rice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rice for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rice

Comments on rice

What made you want to look up rice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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