\ ˈrīs How to pronounce rice (audio) \

Definition of rice

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the starchy seeds of an annual southeast Asian cereal grass (Oryza sativa) that are cooked and used for food also : this cereal grass that is widely cultivated in warm climates for its seeds and by-products — compare wild rice


riced; ricing; rices

Definition of rice (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to finely chop or process (a food) so that it resembles rice riced cauliflower Grilled calamari is served over riced potatoes that melt in the mouth— Mitch Frank Ricing the spuds with the butter and cream, rather than mashing them, makes them light and airy, and gives you a completely different experience.— Yotam Ottolenghi

Definition of RICE (Entry 3 of 3)

rest, ice, compression, elevation

Illustration of rice

Illustration of rice


In the meaning defined above

Examples of rice in a Sentence

Noun Rice is the main crop of the country.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The competition required Fishbaugh to prepare sautéed chicken with fine herb sauce, garlic green beans and rice pilaf. John Benson, cleveland, 8 Aug. 2022 Ideally, the tomatoes are bursting with August ripeness and the eggs are beaten with Shaoxing or rice wine. Karen Yuan, Bon Appétit, 7 Aug. 2022 California rice producers are weighing importing from Japan and South Korea as domestic production has severely dropped, S&P Global Commodity Insights reported. Jon Michael Raasch, Fox News, 7 Aug. 2022 For India, this year’s monsoon-season rice crop is crucial after a scorching heat wave in March damaged the country’s staple wheat crop and reduced yields. Niha Masih, Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2022 Next, came a pâté of chicken liver and thigh, miso and black truffle sandwiched between thin rice crackers (a play on monaka, a Japanese red bean paste snack). Caroline Hatchett, Robb Report, 1 Aug. 2022 Biriyani is a celebratory rice dish made differently throughout India. Mallory Arnold, Outside Online, 1 Aug. 2022 The most common types are soybean peptides, silk fibroin peptides, and rice peptides. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 27 July 2022 Another example is demand for rice fragrance in South and Southeast Asia, which was found to be mainly driven by women. Vivian Polar, Scientific American, 25 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of rice


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rice


Middle English rys, from Anglo-French ris, from Old Italian riso, from Greek oryza, oryzon, of Iranian origin; akin to Pashto wriže rice; akin to Sanskrit vrīhi rice

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best rice cookers.

Learn More About rice

Time Traveler for rice

Time Traveler

The first known use of rice was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rice




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rice

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rice. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for rice


\ ˈrīs How to pronounce rice (audio) \

Kids Definition of rice

: the small seeds of a tall cereal grass widely grown in warm wet regions that are the chief food in many parts of the world



Medical Definition of RICE

rest, ice, compression, elevation used especially for the initial treatment of many usually minor sports-related injuries (as sprains)

Rice biographical name (1)

\ ˈrīs How to pronounce Rice (audio) \

Definition of Rice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Condoleezza 1954–     U.S. Secretary of State (2005–09)


biographical name (2)

Definition of Rice (Entry 2 of 2)

Elmer Leopold 1892–1967 originally Elmer Reizenstein American dramatist

More from Merriam-Webster on rice

Nglish: Translation of rice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rice for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rice


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!