sor·​ghum | \ ˈsȯr-gəm \

Definition of sorghum

1 : any of an economically important genus (Sorghum) of Old World tropical grasses similar to corn in habit but with the spikelets in pairs on a hairy rachis especially : any of various cultivars (such as grain sorghum or sorgo) derived from a wild form (S. bicolor synonym S. vulgare)
2 : syrup from the juice of a sorgo that resembles cane syrup

Illustration of sorghum

Illustration of sorghum

sorghum 1

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for sorghum


corn, goo, mush, schmaltz (also schmalz), sludge, slush, soap opera

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sorghum in a Sentence

a once-popular children's book that today's tots would likely regard as tiresome sorghum

Recent Examples on the Web

Simmer on the stovetop 90 minutes, or until tender, then transfer to a roasting pan, score the surface, glaze with honey or sorghum syrup, and cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender as corned beef. Elizabeth G. Dunn And Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "The Battle for Thanksgiving Heats Up," 31 Oct. 2018 On the sweet side of things, the waffles are a rift on bananas Foster, with edges that stay deliciously crispy up against the sorghum syrup and the meringue topper. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Restaurants in Charleston," 2 May 2018 Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg Employees spread out steamed sorghum to cool ahead of fermentation at the Kweichow Moutai Co. distillery in the town of Maotai, in Guizhou province, China, on Dec. 14., "Bloomberg’s Week in Pictures," 19 Jan. 2018 Designed by English maze architect Adrian Fisher, the maze runs three miles long, features corn and sorghum stalks, and took 12,800 hours to construct. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "9 Magnificent Manmade Mazes," 30 Sep. 2010 An employee spreads out steamed sorghum to cool ahead of fermentation at the Kweichow Moutai distillery in Renhuai, Guizhou province, China. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "Chinese Liquor Maker’s Earnings Make Investors Queasy," 29 Oct. 2018 The cocktails also go above and beyond; the fancy G&T features garden herbs, and the Old Fashioned features sorghum molasses. Diana Oates, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Restaurants in Houston," 1 Oct. 2018 The aquaponics system, which has been using the same primary body of water since 2013, now houses both fish and a variety of plants like the sorghum Amu was tending. Jen Maylack, Vogue, "A Farm—and School of Fish!—Grows in Bushwick Thanks to One Woman’s Vision," 28 Sep. 2018 Buckwheat Many people living with celiac disease can tolerate this whole grain, along with quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum. Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "The 11 Healthiest Whole Grains You Should Be Eating," 17 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sorghum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sorghum

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sorghum

New Latin, from Italian sorgo, from Vulgar Latin *Syricum (granum), literally, Syrian grain

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sorghum

Statistics for sorghum

Last Updated

24 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sorghum

The first known use of sorghum was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sorghum



English Language Learners Definition of sorghum

: a kind of tropical grass that is grown for food; also : the grain that grows on this grass


sor·​ghum | \ ˈsȯr-gəm \

Kids Definition of sorghum

1 : a tall grass that is grown for forage and grain
2 : a sweet syrup from the juice of sorghum stems

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sorghum

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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 ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!