sug·​ar·​cane ˈshu̇-gər-ˌkān How to pronounce sugarcane (audio)
: a stout tall perennial grass (Saccharum officinarum) native to tropical southeast Asia that has a large terminal panicle and is widely grown in warm regions as a source of sugar

Illustration of sugarcane

Illustration of sugarcane

Examples of sugarcane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Every year, after a successful sugarcane harvest, plantation owners would allow enslaved Africans to celebrate with drinks, drums and dancing. Zahra Spencer, Essence, 12 Sep. 2023 Their father, Gordon, worked in the sugarcane fields while their mother, Mary, raised the 12 children, six boys and six girls. Richard A. Webster, ProPublica, 8 Sep. 2023 Key ingredients: Mushroom extract, bilberry extract, sugarcane extract, white willow bark Skin type: All Size: 1 oz. ELLE, 31 Aug. 2023 Business investors eventually replaced traditional Hawaiian agriculture with a plantation economy, primarily growing sugarcane and pineapples. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 27 Aug. 2023 Insider Tip: Don't skip the sugarcane juice with kumquat. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 26 July 2023 Distilled from fresh pressed sugarcane juice rather than molasses, which is a sugarcane by-product, the finished rum has a distinct flavor profile as a result—grassy, lightly sweet, a bit vegetal. Tony Sachs, Robb Report, 2 June 2023 Influence of the sugar industry on the region Farmers burn sugarcane to destroy unneeded leaves so it can be harvested more easily and efficiently. Patrice Gaines, NBC News, 10 May 2023 That area had once been used for sugarcane farming, according to state records, and was now fallow fields. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sugarcane.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sugarcane was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near sugarcane

Cite this Entry

“Sugarcane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


sug·​ar·​cane ˈshu̇g-ər-ˌkān How to pronounce sugarcane (audio)
: a tall tropical grass that has a thick jointed stem and is widely grown in warm regions as a source of sugar
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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