noun (1)
\ ˈrī How to pronounce rye (audio) \

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 member of the Roma


geographical name
\ ˈrī How to pronounce Rye (audio) \

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)

borrowed from Welsh Romani raj "lord, gentleman," going back to an Old Indo-Aryan cognate of Sanskrit rā́jan- "king" — more at royal entry 1

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Time Traveler for rye

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

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Cite this Entry

“Rye.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rye. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for rye


\ ˈrī How to pronounce rye (audio) \

Kids Definition of rye

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


\ ˈrī How to pronounce rye (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rye

Nglish: Translation of rye for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rye for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rye

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