Definitions

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

  • n. A widely cultivated tropical plant (Curcuma domestica) of India, having yellow flowers and an aromatic, somewhat fleshy rhizome.
  • n. The powdered rhizome of this plant, used as a condiment and a yellow dye.
  • n. Any of several other plants having similar rhizomes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Indian plant, Curcuma longa, with aromatic rhizomes, part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).
  • n. The pulverized rhizome of the turmeric plant, used for stimulation, flavoring and to add a bright yellow color to food.
  • n. A yellow to reddish-brown dye extracted from the turmeric plant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to turmeric; resembling, or obtained from, turmeric; specif., designating an acid obtained by the oxidation of turmerol.
  • n. An East Indian plant of the genus Curcuma, of the Ginger family.
  • n. The root or rootstock of the Curcuma longa. It is externally grayish, but internally of a deep, lively yellow or saffron color, and has a slight aromatic smell, and a bitterish, slightly acrid taste. It is used for a dye, a medicine, a condiment, and a chemical test.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Australia, either of two species of trees: Zieria Smithii, the stinkwood of Tasmania, which see, under stinkwood ; and Hakea dactyloides, an evergreen shrub of the family Proteaceæ.
  • Noting an acid, a compound, C11H14O2, formed by the oxidation of turmerol by means of potassium permanganate.
  • n. The rhizome of Curcuma longa, a plant of the ginger family, native and long cultivated in the East Indies.
  • n. The plant producing turmeric.
  • n. The bloodroot, Sanguinaria Canadensis.

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

  • n. widely cultivated tropical plant of India having yellow flowers and a large aromatic deep yellow rhizome; source of a condiment and a yellow dye
  • n. ground dried rhizome of the turmeric plant used as seasoning

Etymologies

Alteration of Middle English termeryte, from Old French terre-merite, saffron, from Medieval Latin terra merita : Latin terra, earth; + Latin merita, feminine past participle of merēre, to deserve.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English / early modern English turmeryte, tarmaret, of uncertain origin. Possibly from Middle French terremérite ("worthy earth").[2] (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Interestingly, in evaluating villages in India where turmeric is used in abundance in curried recipes, epidemiological studies have found that Alzheimer's disease is only about 25 percent as common as in the U.S.

    David Perlmutter, M.D.: Neurogenesis: How to Change Your Brain

  • Some soak the plantains in turmeric water to get rid of the stickiness.

    Chifles (Fried Green Banana Chips) : The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz

  • You can find fresh roots in Southeast Asian and Indian markets, but dried ground turmeric is far more commonly used.

    Aloo Shimla Mirch Stirfry - Potato Bell Pepper Stirfry

  • The newest flavor-of-the-month in the nutritional supplement world is curcumin, aka turmeric, that yellow powdery herb used in India for centuries to give savory curry dishes their golden color.

    Joel Brokaw: Curcumin: Spicy Painkiller Finally Delivers on Promise

  • "Curry almost always contains turmeric, which is an ancient, well-known cure for colicky babies -- It is also known to calm, to soothe, to ease hurt; it is hugely comforting."

    Elissa Altman: A Curry for Lea

  • One specifically Jewish dish, served at the start of Sabbath dinners for centuries, is gundi, a plump chicken and chickpea dumpling, flavored with cardamom and tinted with turmeric, that is cooked in chicken broth.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Turmeric, also known as turmeric root, yellow ginger, Curcumin or Indian saffron, is also used as a food and fabric coloring.

    eHow - Health How To's

  • For the most curcumin, be sure to use turmeric rather curry powder-a study analyzing curcumin content in 28 spice products described as turmeric or curry powders found that pure turmeric powder had the highest concentration of curcumin, averaging 3. 14\% by weight.

    The World's Healthiest Foods

  • --- Revered in India as "holy powder," the marigold-colored spice known as turmeric has been used for centuries to treat wounds, infections and other health problems.

    Clipmarks | Live Clips

  • Turmeric Ingredient Makes Membranes Behave For Better Health (Mar. 8, 2009) - Revered in India as "holy powder," the marigold-colored spice known as turmeric has been used for centuries to treat wounds, infections and other health problems.

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