\ ˈrīs How to pronounce rice (audio) \

Definition of rice

 (Entry 1 of 5)

: 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


riced; ricing; rices

Definition of rice (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

: to finely chop or process (a food) so that it resembles rice riced cauliflower Grilled calamari is served over riced potatoes that melt in the mouth— Mitch Frank Ricing the spuds with the butter and cream, rather than mashing them, makes them light and airy, and gives you a completely different experience.— Yotam Ottolenghi

Definition of RICE (Entry 3 of 5)

rest, ice, compression, elevation


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

Definition of Rice (Entry 4 of 5)

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


biographical name (2)

Definition of Rice (Entry 5 of 5)

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

Noun Rice is the main crop of the country.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After rice, the highest emissions associated with plant production came from wheat, sugarcane and maize. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, 13 Sep. 2021 Many of his members rely on the state and federal aqueduct systems and well water to grow a variety of crops — from rice to walnuts, row-crop beans to almonds. Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2021 Steaming piles of sake rice cool on a steel rack as Jin feverishly sprays disinfectant on tools and containers. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 Go to the forest and get wood, then boil your water and cook your rice. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2021 Examples include oil and gas companies, the lumber industry, producers of raw food items such as corn and rice, etc. Charles Rotblut, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Toss it all in a wok or cast-iron skillet until the rice gets faintly crackly. Shilpa Uskokovic, Bon Appétit, 8 Sep. 2021 The restaurant offers bowls with four customizable grains or greens including red quinoa and brown or cauliflower rice, plus a melange of vegetables cooked, pickled or raw and a house sauce. Michael Russell, oregonlive, 20 Aug. 2021 Ari Plachta, an intern for The Times, writes about rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley who have senior water rights and are going unscathed amid another dry year. Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of rice


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1904, 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

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Time Traveler for rice

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rice. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on rice

Nglish: Translation of rice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rice for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rice


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