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

Illustration of rice

Illustration of rice


2 of 3


riced; ricing; rices

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 mouthMitch 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


3 of 3


rest, ice, compression, elevation

Examples of rice in a Sentence

Noun Rice is the main crop of the country.
Recent Examples on the Web
Lean beef currently costs about $14.88 per kilogram, and rice costs $2.2 per kilogram – whereas the beef rice, if commercialized, could cost just $2.23. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 15 Feb. 2024 And while beef costs less than $14.90 per kg (2.2 lbs), the equivalent rice might only set you back $2.23. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 14 Feb. 2024 Every bowl has the flavors of traditional red beans and rice. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Feb. 2024 He was known for his down-to-earth style of leadership, often turning up unannounced at markets and mosques to talk to people about everyday issues like the price of rice. Winda Charmila, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 In Asia, the mung bean — whether boiled, sprouted or milled into flour — is as fundamental and versatile as rice. Wei Tchou, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Served sizzling in their skillet, the small cup-like pancakes are chewy with a thin crispy exterior, the result of rice flour used in baking. Benjy Egel, Sacramento Bee, 8 Feb. 2024 For instance, northern Chinese tend to have dumplings and noodles, whereas southern Chinese can’t live without steamed rice. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 Chicken Enchilada Burrito $2.49 / 7.25 ounces This combination of chicken, rice, cheese, sour cream and red sauce was another win for me. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2024
Connors said a majority of Bad River tribal members prefer ricing at Kakagon than off-reservation. Frank Vaisvilas, Journal Sentinel, 7 Sep. 2023 Prepare riced cauliflower according to package instructions. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 15 Sep. 2023 Saffron appears everywhere from risotto Milanese and the bouillabaisse of Marseille to rice dishes across the Middle East and India, proof of both its desirability and its ability to grow in many parts of the world. Jane Black, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1904, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rice

Cite this Entry

“Rice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rice. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a southeast Asian grass widely grown in warm wet areas especially for its seeds which are used for food
: the seeds of rice

Medical Definition


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

Biographical Definition

Rice 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

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


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Elmer Leopold 1892–1967 originally Elmer Reizenstein American dramatist

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