American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several plants of the genus Rheum, especially R. rhabarbarum, having long green or reddish acidic leafstalks that are edible when sweetened and cooked. Also called pie plant.
- n. The dried, bitter-tasting rhizome and roots of Rheum palmatum or R. officinale of eastern Asia, used as a laxative.
- n. Informal A quarrel, fight, or heated discussion.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The general name for plants of the genus Rheum, especially for species affording the drug rhubarb and the culinary herb of that name. The specific source of the officinal rhubarb is still partially in question; but it is practically settled that R. officinale is one of the probably several species which yield it. R. palmatum, R. Franzenbachii, and R. hybridum also have some claims. The article is produced on the high table-lands of western China and eastern Tibet, and formerly reached the western market by the way of Russia and Turkey, being named accordingly. It is now obtained from China by sea (Chinese rhubarb), but is more mixed in quality, from lack of the rigorous Russian inspection. Various species, especially R. Rhaponticum and R. palmatum, have been grown in England and elsewhere in Europe for the root, but the product is inferior, from difference either of species or of conditions. The common garden rhubarb is R. Rhaponticum and its varieties. It is native from the Volga to central Asia, and was introduced into England about 1573. Its leaves were early used as a pot-herb, but the now common use of its tender acidulous leafstalks as a spring substitute for fruit in making tarts, pies, etc., is only of recent date. Attempts to use it as a wine-plant have not been specially successful. Some other species have a similar acid quality. From their stature and huge leaves, various rhubarbs produce striking scenic effects, especially R. Emodi, the Nepal rhubarb, which grows 5 feet high and has wrinkled leaves veined with red; and still more the better-formed R. officinale. A finer and most remarkable species is R. nobile, the Sikhim rhubarb, which presents a conical tower of imbricating foliage a yard or more high, the ample shining-green root-leaves passing into large straw-colored bracts which conceal beautiful pink stipules and small green flowers. The root is very long, winding among the rocks. This plant is not easily cultivated.
- n. The root of any medicinal rhubarb, or some preparation of it. Rhubarb is a much-prized remedy, remarkable as combining a cathartic with an astringent effect, the latter succeeding the former. It is also tonic and stomachic. It is administered in substance or in various preparations.
- n. The leafstalks of the garden rhubarb collectively; pie-plant.
- Resembling rhubarb; bitter.
- n. Any plant of the genus Rheum, especially Rheum rharbarbarum, having large leaves and long green or reddish acidic leafstalks, that are edible, in particular when cooked (although the leaves are mildly poisonous).
- n. The dried rhizome and roots of Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale, from China, used as a laxative and purgative.
- n. A word repeated softly to emulate background conversation. (see rhubarb rhubarb).
- n. An excited, angry exchange of words, especially at a sporting event.
- n. baseball A brawl.
- n. military An RAF World War II code name for operations by aircraft (fighters and fighter bombers) seeking opportunity targets.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) The name of several large perennial herbs of the genus Rheum and order Polygonaceæ.
- n. The large and fleshy leafstalks of Rheum Rhaponticum and other species of the same genus. They are pleasantly acid, and are used in cookery. Called also
- n. (Med.) The root of several species of Rheum, used much as a cathartic medicine.
- n. plants having long green or reddish acidic leafstalks growing in basal clumps; stems (and only the stems) are edible when cooked; leaves are poisonous
- n. long pinkish sour leafstalks usually eaten cooked and sweetened
- From Middle English rubarbe, from Old French, from Late Latin reubarbarum, from Latin Rha ("River Volga") (in the region from which the plant came to the Mediterraneum, cognate with New Latin Rheum) + barbarum ("barbarian") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English rubarbe, from Old French, from Late Latin reubarbarum, probably alteration (influenced by Greek rhēon) of rhabarbarum : rha, rhubarb (from Greek rhā, perhaps from Rhā, the Volga River) + Latin barbarum, neuter of barbarus, barbarian, foreign; see barbarous. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The name rhubarb comes from the Latin rhabarbarum meaning (depending on your viewpoint!) "root of the barbarians".”
“In terms of journals I particularly enjoy — which here means journals that I review material from in rhubarb is susan — here’s a highly incomplete list.”
“It's a tough job that will involve collateral damage, but rhubarb is a survivor.”
“Raspberry rhubarb is number one, but strawberry rhubarb is not far behind.”
“Simmer until the rhubarb is dissolving, about 7 minutes.”
“Rationalization: The potato-y qualities of the steroidal supermarket berries are mitigated by cooking, and the store-bought rhubarb is just fine, usually.”
“AAAAAAAAAH just the word rhubarb makes me think of spring time!”
“Just remember boys and girls, rhubarb is for eating, not for hitting.”
“The rhubarb, is of course, fresh as can be, crisp and garnet hued, grown by local farmers -- although hot house rhubarb can be a great consolation once the summer is over.”
“The pairing of the rosemary and rhubarb is truly a revelation.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘rhubarb’.
includes words of the "Prodcom list"
HEE OK LETS DO IT! I'm v.v. excited! (with thanks to whichbe, Lampbane, bilby, effigy, frogapplause, and fredrx!)
Words that I could probably spell correctly without having to look them up every single damn time were it not for an apparently extraneous and randomly placed h.
Pastry words anyone?
two most beautiful words when put together
Another news story about words being removed from a dictionary before their time. See also the list of words added to the dictionary.
Words I like mostly because of the way they sound and feel.
From the novel by William Lindsay Gresham
Looking for tweets for rhubarb.