American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A cereal grass (Secale cereale) widely cultivated for its grain.
- n. The grain of this plant, used in making flour and whiskey and for livestock feed.
- n. Whiskey made from the grains of this plant.
- n. A Gypsy man.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The cereal plant Sccale cerealc, or its seeds. Its nativity appears to have been in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian. Its culture has been chiefly in the north. and, though ancient, is not of the highest antiquity. It bears more cold than any other grain, thrives on light and otherwise barren soils, and can be grown continuously on the same spot. It is most extensively produced in central and northern Europe, where it forms the almost exclusive breadstuff of large populations, furnishing the black bread of Germany and Russia, and the rye-cakes which in Sweden are baked twice in a year and preserved by drying. Rye is less nutritious than wheat, though in that respect standing next to it. The black bread has a sour taste, owing to the speedy acetous fermentation of the sugar contained in it. A sweet bread is also made from rye. The roasted grains have long been used as a substitute for coffee. Rye enters in Russia into the national drink, kvass, in Holland into gin, and in the United States it is the source of much whisky. When affected with ergot (see
ergot, 2, and spurred rye below) rye becomes poisonous. The young plant affords a useful. green fodder; the straw is valued for thatching, for filling mattresses, for the packing of horse-collars, etc. Rye is often planted with grass-seed in the United States as a protection during the first season, and similarly with pine-seeds in the Alpine region. It has spring and fall varieties, one of the latter being known as Wallachian; in general it has less varieties than other much-cultivated plants. The rie of Exodus ix. 32 and Isaiah xxviii. 25 is probably spelt.
- n. In heraldry, a bearing representing a stalk of grain with the ear bending downward, thus distinguished from wheat, in which the ear is erect.
- n. Whisky made from rye. [Colloq., U. S.]
- n. A disease in hawks which causes the head to swell.
- n. A gentleman; a superior person: as, a Rommany rye.
- n. Caraway (from the mistaken assumption that the whole seeds, often used to season rye bread, are the rye itself)
- n. Ryegrass, any of the species of Lolium.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A grain yielded by a hardy cereal grass (Secale cereale), closely allied to wheat; also, the plant itself. Rye constitutes a large portion of the breadstuff used by man.
- n. A disease in a hawk.
- n. whiskey distilled from rye or rye and malt
- n. hardy annual cereal grass widely cultivated in northern Europe where its grain is the chief ingredient of black bread and in North America for forage and soil improvement
- n. the seed of the cereal grass
- From Old English ryġe, from Proto-Germanic *rugiz. Cognates include Germanic Old Norse rugr (Danish rug, Swedish råg), German Roggen and from non-Germanic Indo-European Russian рожь (rož') and Old Prussian rugis. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English ryge.Romany rai, from Sanskrit rājā, king; see rajah. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Steve: the corned beef sandwich on rye is well worth breaking the rules. great fries too!”
“I confess I am not a big fan of caraway in rye bread but this seems altogether different and definitely worth a try!”
“Rather like the idea of the caraway (I love it in rye bread).”
“It was during his work on the ergot fungus, which grows in rye kernels, that he stumbled on LSD, accidentally ingesting a trace of the compound one Friday afternoon in April 1943.”
“I actually prefer a seeded rye, but the plain rye tasted just fine ….”
“So as a price spike in rye led to a price spike in beer, there was less beer consumed — which in turn led to fewer assaults and murders.”
“Their formula (the midtown deli) sucks, but their BLT with avocado on rye is a weekly necessity.”
“Did you know that you can make a bread starter from tepache and whole grain rye flour?”
“The New York Times (22 October 2005) The winter rye is already sprouting green in the undulating fields of the state cooperative farm here.”
“Thus ai, ei, oi, ui are intended to be pronounced respectively as the vowels in English rye (not ray), grey, boy, ruin: and au (aw) as in loud, how and not as in laud, haw.”
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