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: 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

Illustration of rice

Illustration of rice


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riced; ricing; rices

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 mouthMitch 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


3 of 3


rest, ice, compression, elevation

Examples of rice in a Sentence

Noun Rice is the main crop of the country.
Recent Examples on the Web
Goodyear, for example, is now using silica sourced from a rice processing byproduct called husk ash. Tim Stevens, The Verge, 17 Nov. 2023 Find it on Amazon Strengthen Your Hair with Nutrient-Rich Rice Water Improve your hair health with this nourishing rice water. Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023 And many rice cookers can actually do a lot more than cook rice; plenty are bonafide multicookers with the capabilities of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, and food steamer all in one machine. Wilder Davies, Bon Appétit, 14 Nov. 2023 Try animal toasts Spread cream cheese on a slice of toasted bread or a rice cake. Michelle Crouch, Parents, 14 Nov. 2023 For this iconic dish, often cited as a staple in blogs about local food, rice is slowly simmered in a stock made with fish scraps and topped with fish filets cooked with butter and sage. Vittoria Traverso, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Nov. 2023 Unlike some countries, China does not require flour and rice to be supplemented with B1. Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2023 Stocks of essential food in all of Gaza, including rice and vegetable oil, will be depleted in one to three days, the WFP said. NBC News, 7 Nov. 2023 Dressing with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Coconut Dried fruits, nuts, and array of seasonings make this rice dressing stand out from the pack during holiday entertaining. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 2 Nov. 2023
Connors said a majority of Bad River tribal members prefer ricing at Kakagon than off-reservation. Frank Vaisvilas, Journal Sentinel, 7 Sep. 2023 Prepare riced cauliflower according to package instructions. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 15 Sep. 2023 Saffron appears everywhere from risotto Milanese and the bouillabaisse of Marseille to rice dishes across the Middle East and India, proof of both its desirability and its ability to grow in many parts of the world. Jane Black, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1904, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rice

Cite this Entry

“Rice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rice. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a southeast Asian grass widely grown in warm wet areas especially for its seeds which are used for food
: the seeds of rice

Medical Definition


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

Biographical Definition

Rice 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

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


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Elmer Leopold 1892–1967 originally Elmer Reizenstein American dramatist

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