Definitions

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The cereal plant Sccale cerealc, or its seeds.
  • 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.

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

  • 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

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English ryge.
Romany rai, from Sanskrit rājā, king; see rajah.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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)

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