sor·​ghum | \ ˈsȯr-gəm How to pronounce sorghum (audio) \

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

Examples of sorghum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many brewers tried sorghum, but those beers tended to taste metallic and thin. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area breweries are going all in on gluten-free beer, and this time, they actually taste good," 23 Feb. 2021 Already America’s biggest customer of soybeans and sorghum, for this season China bought an unprecedented 11.2 million metric tons of corn, up nearly 1,300% compared with pre-trade-war purchases., "What Trade War? Trump Heartland Sees Record Farm Sales to China," 8 Dec. 2020 The index also includes beer companies, but the most valuable players are mostly distillers who specialize in baijiu, a fiery Chinese spirit made by fermenting sorghum or other grains. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "China’s Liquor Giants Intoxicate Investors," 22 Dec. 2020 In Uganda, SABMiller leveraged a production subsidy of a local variety of sorghum to encourage local farmers to grow and harvest it for beer production. Nandita Murukutla, STAT, "Governments’ alcohol subsidies are harmful to public health," 27 Jan. 2021 Mother Grains focuses on eight whole grains that are grown and sold across the U.S.: barley, buckwheat, corn, oat, rice, rye, sorghum, and wheat. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "The Most Exciting Cookbook of the Spring Is Roxana Jullapat’s Mother Grains," 26 Jan. 2021 The first two ingredients are buffalo and pork to pack in protein, and the formula also contains ancient grains like sorghum and millet. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "Pet product bestsellers: Most purchased pet food and supplies we covered," 28 Dec. 2020 For sorghum, which is also a substitute for corn, China accounts for 80% of sales., "What Trade War? Trump Heartland Sees Record Farm Sales to China," 8 Dec. 2020 In North America, the fall armyworm leaves the southern tips of Florida and Texas each spring to spread all the way to Canada, destroying corn, rice, and sorghum fields. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Can a Genetically Modified Bug Combat a Global Farm Plague?," 24 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sorghum

Time Traveler

The first known use of sorghum was in 1597

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Statistics for sorghum

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sorghum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce sorghum (audio) \

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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