\ 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 The entree on everyone’s lips is salmon coulibiac, basically a fish version of beef Wellington in which a band of puff pastry and mushroom duxelles form a frame around the salmon and rice tinted with parsley puree. Washington Post, 27 July 2021 Bacillus cereus, classically from fried or other rice that has sat out, also causes acute nausea and vomiting within a few hours. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 26 July 2021 Often eaten at breakfast, the dish is made by boiling rice in a large amount of water for a long period of time. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 23 July 2021 Close grill lid and let rice cook until crisp, 3 minutes. Sho Boo, WSJ, 23 July 2021 The seeds of a West African tree that can be steamed and ground as a seasoning for rice. Cathy Jakicic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 July 2021 In the case of Line 3, much of the fight has rightly focussed on local impacts: the threat to rivers, lakes, and wild-rice harvests in Minnesota, and to the treaty rights of the indigenous people who are leading the fight. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 20 July 2021 These newer cookbooks are odes to the older women of the community who ran their homes and kitchens with smiling efficiency, and innovated quietly with what was at hand, using up vegetable peels and leftover rice with ease. Charukesi Ramadurai, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 July 2021 In Russia, it’s also commonly layered with fried or boiled potatoes, added to an omelet, or simply dolloped atop rice for a boost of flavor and nutrients. Irina Groushevaia, Bon Appétit, 15 July 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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Buying Guide

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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

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rice. Accessed 3 Aug. 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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