\ 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 According to police, Swanson allegedly demanded money and threw rice and potatoes on the floor of an administrative office. Pioneer Press Staff, chicagotribune.com, 21 June 2021 Dow Brantley farms cotton, corn, rice and soybeans on about 10,500 acres near England in Lonoke County, which is the state's fourth-largest user of groundwater for irrigation. Ashton Eley, Arkansas Online, 21 June 2021 But more nutritious crops like sugarcane, rice and bananas can be especially enticing. Hazel Pfeifer, CNN, 20 June 2021 Containers for rice and pasta are hand-me downs, purchased by her parents at Bloomingdales in the 1980s. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 15 June 2021 Every year, the least popular M.R.E.s are dropped from circulation and new ones are added; perennial favorites like spaghetti with meat sauce or beef ravioli are supplemented with dishes like a Mexican rice and bean bowl. New York Times, 8 June 2021 And Indian markets like Swadeshi and Sabu’s Indian Market and Kitchen dot the communities of Plano and Irving, offering endless selections of rice and halal meats. Claire Ballor, Dallas News, 2 June 2021 At the completion of the academic year, the school served rice and goat. E. C. Osondu, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 The dish, essentially potatoes made in a spicy curry, is usually paired with rice and a warm cup of kahwa. Washington Post, 21 May 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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near rice







rice bean

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rice. Accessed 25 Jun. 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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