Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A shrubby tropical American plant (Manihot esculenta) widely grown for its large, tuberous, starchy roots.
  • n. The root of this plant, eaten as a staple food in the tropics only after leaching and drying to remove cyanide. Cassava starch is also the source of tapioca.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. manioc, the source of tapioca, Manihot esculenta.
  • n. Tapioca, a starchy pulp made with the roots of this tropical plant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A shrubby euphorbiaceous plant of the genus Manihot, with fleshy rootstocks yielding an edible starch; -- called also manioc.
  • n. A nutritious starch obtained from the rootstocks of the cassava plant, used as food and in making tapioca.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name of several species of Manihot, a euphorbiaceous genus of stout herbs, extensively cultivated for food in tropical America and on the coast of Africa, from the tuberous roots of which cassava-bread, cassava-starch, and tapioca are made.
  • n. The starch prepared from the roots of the cassava-plant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a starch made by leaching and drying the root of the cassava plant; the source of tapioca; a staple food in the tropics
  • n. cassava root eaten as a staple food after drying and leaching; source of tapioca
  • n. any of several plants of the genus Manihot having fleshy roots yielding a nutritious starch

Etymologies

Ultimately from Taino casavi, flour from manioc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Portuguese cassave, form Taino caçabi. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Cassava is the third-largest source of carbohydrates for meals in the world. Cassava is classified as sweet or bitter depending on the level of toxic cyanogenic glucosides; improper preparation of bitter cassava causes a disease called konzo. Nevertheless, farmers often prefer the bitter varieties because they deter pests, animals, and thieves.

    December 1, 2010

  • Leaves are tasty too. Take the top ones from the growing tip or they can be quite bitter.

    August 15, 2008