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

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Synonyms for sorghum


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

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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

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 While some sorghum has still been moving offshore, few new export sales have been announced since February and some cargos have been canceled, U.S. government data show. Bloomberg,, "Sorghum, targeted by tariffs, is a U.S. crop China started buying only five years ago," 18 Apr. 2018 Beijing offered its own conciliatory gestures by dropping an anti-dumping investigation into imported U.S. sorghum and unblocking an American firm's bid to buy a Toshiba business unit. Chris Megerian,, "U.S. is putting new tariffs on hold while negotiating with China, Mnuchin says," 20 May 2018 Buckwheat This common pancake whole grain is one of the whole grains many people living with celiac disease can tolerate (others include quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum). Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "The 11 Healthiest Whole Grains You Should Be Eating," 2 Mar. 2017 It’s made of ground corn and topped with some jalapeno cane syrup to kick the heat and sweetness up a notch, plus honey butter and popped sorghum kernels, giving it a very interesting and complex combination of sweet, rich and spicy. Larry Olmsted, USA TODAY, "Chicken, biscuits and beer: Dallas eatery serves tasty trifecta," 12 July 2018 This stopped American exports, which account for almost all sorghum entering China, in their tracks. The Economist, "Donald Trump is sending shockwaves through global commodities markets," 26 Apr. 2018 Products affected include soy, corn, wheat, rice, sorghum, beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts and vegetables. Fortune, "Next Move Is Trump's After China Hits Back in Trade-War Opener," 16 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for sorghum

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sorghum

The first known use of sorghum was in 1597

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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

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full of whispering sounds

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