\ ˈrīs \

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 \

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

Kids under three should only use a smear the size of a grain of rice. Korin Miller, SELF, "Kids Are Using Too Much Toothpaste and It's Actually a Problem," 5 Feb. 2019 Sunrise is the best time to see Borobudur and the nearby 508 Hindu stone temples of Prambanan, both surrounded by impossibly green rice fields. Marianna Cerini, Condé Nast Traveler, "Yogyakarta Is the Cultural Hub to Hit on Your Next Trip to Southeast Asia," 16 Nov. 2018 The company’s LinkedIn profile says the company was incorporated in 1993 and is a regional importer of rice, wheat flour and sugar and has built up household brands such as Golden Royal Jewel in Singapore. Matthew Pennington, The Seattle Times, "US sanctions Singapore companies over North Korea dealings," 25 Oct. 2018 Munira's sister-in-law, who had flown in from Egypt after Grenfell to help the family, helped me divide the correct amount of butter and fresh thyme to pour into the pot of rice bubbling away on the stovetop. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Read Meghan Markle's Emotional Foreword to 'Together: Our Community Cookbook'," 19 Sep. 2018 The rice fields were stubbled green and brown, most of the crop having been harvested in mid-October. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "As Innocuous as Plant No. 1," 10 Apr. 2018 On the outskirts of Ubon Ratchathani in Isaan— northeast Thailand— the Mun River winds like a grass snake around rice fields, forest temples, and wooden farmhouses, but the land is dry. James Syhabout With John Birdsall, Bon Appetit, "Finding the Place Between My Parents’ Immigrant Experience and My Own," 6 Mar. 2018 On agricultural purchases, for instance, the two sides discussed the tariffs, regulations, licenses and other barriers imposed by China that sharply limit rice and corn purchases. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Trump Bullish on China Trade Deal Ahead of Speech to U.S. Farmers," 14 Jan. 2019 Add rice and wine and cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Wild Mushroom Risotto," 20 Dec. 2018

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

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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Dictionary Entries near rice






rice bean


Statistics for rice

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rice

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

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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 \

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)

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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

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