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

  • n. Any of various usually woody, temperate or tropical grasses of the genera Arundinaria, Bambusa, Dendrocalamus, Phyllostachys, or Sasa. Certain species of bamboo can reach heights of from 20 to 30 meters (66 to 98 feet).
  • n. The hard or woody, jointed, often hollow stems of these plants, used in construction, crafts, and fishing poles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant; a grass of the Poaceae family, characterised by its woody, hollow, round, straight, jointed stem.
  • n. The wood of the bamboo plant as a material or cane.
  • n. a didgeridoo
  • n. A British military or Honourable East India Company employee, who spent so much time in Indonesia, India, or Malaysia that they never went back home.
  • adj. Made of the wood of the bamboo.
  • v. To flog with a bamboo cane.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plant of the family of grasses, and genus Bambusa, growing in tropical countries.
  • transitive v. To flog with the bamboo.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The common name of the arborescent grasses belonging to the genus Bambusa (which see) and its allies.
  • n. In the West Indies, a tall climbing grass of the genus Panicum, P. divaricatum.
  • n. In Queensland, a coarse grass, Stipa micrantha.
  • n. A stick or cane from the stem of the bamboo.
  • n. In pottery, a name given to a cane-colored biscuit made by Wedgwood.
  • n. An Eastern measure of length, equal in Pondicherry to 3⅔ meters.
  • n. In Sumatra, a measure of capacity: in Bencoolen, equal to the United States (Winchester) gallon; in Achin, to 5 pints.
  • To beat with a bamboo; punish by flogging with a smooth lath of bamboo; bastinado.

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

  • n. the hard woody stems of bamboo plants; used in construction and crafts and fishing poles
  • n. woody tropical grass having hollow woody stems; mature canes used for construction and furniture


Back-formation from earlier bambos (taken as pl.), from Dutch bamboes, of Malay or Dravidian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dutch bamboe, from Portuguese bambu, from Malay bambu, from Kannada ಬಮ್ಬು (bambu). (Wiktionary)


  • The bamboo is gorgeous but not as durable as the hardwood in the rest of the house.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » The Ladies Blue Room. Or something.

  • Errol Flynn popularised the idea of using thin bamboo rafts to silently glide along the river.

    In search of Errol Flynn's Jamaica

  • Rob got some hands-on time with some of the more visually interesting models, including one netbook covered in bamboo, and others covered in very Vegas-appropriate gold lamé or Lamborghini co-branding.

    Boing Boing

  • I remember he blended in bamboo straw to give the block more strength as well as adding the crushed berries/leaves from a local plant that acted as a natural insecticide and kept his adobe home free of ants, roaches and spiders.

    new adobe construction?

  • Therefore the materials were chosen accordingly: bamboo is used all throughout Vietnam due to the fact that it is cheap, easy to work with and also easy to transport.

    Bamboo Bed

  • Captured by VC and spent 2 days partly submerged in bamboo cage before escaping and evading and finding friendly forces.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • Anyone else remember tan braided line, thin bamboo cane poles, and unpainted cork bobbers?

    Old TIme Fishin'

  • Display and information on how bamboo is made into fiber and then designed into clothes, sheets, etc. Scarlett Alley

    DesignPhiladelphia – Begins Today! « DESIGNPHILADELPHIA

  • “We believe in bamboo because it is an amazing rapidly renewable resource, and by supporting the use of this beautiful and versatile material as a complete wood replacement, we are all helping to keep the world a greener place!”

    Method Homes completes its first prefab cabin

  • Last week, Banana Republic (GPS) rolled out a Green Collection that includes apparel in bamboo, organic linen and soy/silk knit fabrics.

    Ad Track: Starbucks splash stick says no to sploshing


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.