noun (1)
\ ˈrī \

Definition of rye

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a hardy annual grass (Secale cereale) that is widely grown for grain and as a cover crop
2 : the seeds of rye
3 : rye bread


noun (2)

Definition of rye (Entry 2 of 3)

: a male Gypsy


geographical name
\ ˈrī \

Definition of Rye (Entry 3 of 3)

town in East Sussex, southeastern England population 4800

First Known Use of rye

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rye

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English ryge; akin to Old High German rocko rye, Lithuanian rugys

Noun (2)

Romany rai gentleman, master, from Sanskrit rājan king — more at royal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rye

Statistics for rye

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rye

The first known use of rye was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rye


\ ˈrī \

Kids Definition of rye

: a hardy cereal grass grown especially for its edible seeds that are used in flour and animal feeds


\ ˈrī \

Medical Definition of rye

1 : a hardy annual grass (Secale cereale) that is widely grown for grain and as a cover crop
2 : the seeds of rye used for bread flour, whiskey manufacture, feed for farm animals (as poultry), and especially formerly in the roasted state as a coffee substitute

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rye

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rye

Spanish Central: Translation of rye

Nglish: Translation of rye for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rye for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rye

Comments on rye

What made you want to look up rye? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!