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noun (1)

tu·​ber ˈtü-bər How to pronounce tuber (audio)
plural tubers
: a short fleshy usually underground stem bearing minute scale leaves each of which bears a bud in its axil and is potentially able to produce a new plant
Wireworms work beneath the soil, tunneling in the potato tubers and sometimes doing serious damage.Glenn Drowns
Manioc flour, made from cassava (a starchy tuber), is available at many Latin American markets.Paul Theroux
compare bulb, corm
: a fleshy root or rhizome resembling a tuber


2 of 2

noun (2)

tub·​er ˈtü-bər How to pronounce tuber (audio)
plural tubers
: a person who engages in the sport or activity of riding an inner tube (as down a river or snowy slope) : one who participates in tubing
With so many tubers using the river, streambank erosion became a problem at popular exit points.Jerry Gerlach et al.
Skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers have seen everything Mother Nature can throw at them this winter.Ron Leonardi

Examples of tuber in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Naturally sweet and flavorful, these delicious little tubers are easy to cook, easy to purée, and make a simply astounding sweet dessert. Torie Cox, Country Living, 8 Sep. 2023 Large tubers should be planted in the ground at least 8 inches apart, while smaller tubers can be grouped together more tightly in the ground or containers. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 15 June 2023 Spindle tuber disease, which was first identified in the 1920s, sometimes causes disastrous consequences for crops. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, 8 May 2023 Rescue crews used a drone to scan the river for the missing tuber, and found him 20 minutes later upriver from Waterloo Park on an island, the statement said. Austindedios, oregonlive, 26 Jan. 2023 Once potato plants turn yellow, the above-ground sugars have turned to starch and are in the below-ground tubers. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Aug. 2023 The Domes received a gift of a dormant corm — similar to a bulb or tuber — about 15 years ago from the University of Wisconsin and have since grown 10 corpse flower corms from the original. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 14 July 2023 Chinese security robots that resemble overgrown tubers patrol rail stations and airports, using cameras to relay problems to a human operator. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, 26 July 2023 The day was the busiest of the summer, local officials said, with at least 15,000 tubers on the Comal. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Latin, swelling, truffle; perhaps akin to Latin tumēre to swell — more at thumb entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tuber was in 1668

Dictionary Entries Near tuber

Cite this Entry

“Tuber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


tu·​ber ˈt(y)ü-bər How to pronounce tuber (audio)
: a short fleshy usually underground stem (as of a potato plant) having tiny scalelike leaves each with a bud at its base that can produce a new plant compare bulb sense 1a, corm
: a fleshy root or rhizome that resembles a tuber

Medical Definition


tu·​ber ˈt(y)ü-bər How to pronounce tuber (audio)
: an anatomical prominence : tuberosity

More from Merriam-Webster on tuber

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