from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A slender, strong but often flexible stem, as of certain bamboos, reeds, or rattans.
  • noun A plant having such a stem.
  • noun Such stems or strips of such stems used for wickerwork or baskets.
  • noun A bamboo (Arundinaria gigantea) native to the southeast United States, having long stiff stems and often forming canebrakes.
  • noun The stem of a raspberry, blackberry, certain roses, or similar plants.
  • noun Sugar cane.
  • noun A stick used as an aid in walking or carried as an accessory.
  • noun A rod used for flogging.
  • noun A glass cylinder made of smaller, variously colored glass rods that have been fused together, used in glassmaking.
  • transitive verb To make, supply, or repair with flexible woody material.
  • transitive verb To hit or beat with a rod.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To beat or flog with a cane or walking-stick.
  • To furnish or complete with cane; fill the center of the back or the seat with interwoven strips of cane: as, to cane chairs.
  • noun A rather long and slender jointed woody stem, more or less rigid, hollow or pithy, as that of some palms, grasses, and other plants, such as the ratan, bamboo, and sugar-cane; also, the stem of raspberries or blackberries.
  • noun Sugar-cane: as, a plantation of cane; cane-sugar.
  • noun The plant Arundinaria macrosperma of the southern United States, forming cane-brakes. See Arundinaria.
  • noun The stem of a plant, as the bamboo, used as a walking-stick; hence, any walking-stick.
  • noun A lance or dart made of cane.
  • noun A chair having the seat, or the seat and back, made of thin strips of cane, retaining their natural smooth surface, interlaced or woven together.
  • noun A slender stick or rod of some substance such as sealing-wax, sulphur, glass, or tobacco.
  • noun A slender panic-grass, Panicum dichotomum, a valuable native forage for sheep in the southern United States.
  • noun An obsolete form of khan.
  • noun In Scotland, rent paid in kind, as in poultry, eggs, etc.; hence, any tax, tribute, or duty exacted.
  • noun An obsolete form of can.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A name given to several peculiar palms, species of Calamus and Dæmanorops, having very long, smooth flexible stems, commonly called rattans.
  • noun Any plant with long, hard, elastic stems, as reeds and bamboos of many kinds; also, the sugar cane.
  • noun Stems of other plants are sometimes called canes.
  • noun A walking stick; a staff; -- so called because originally made of one of the species of cane.
  • noun rare A lance or dart made of cane.
  • noun A local European measure of length. See Canna.
  • noun (Zoö.) A beetle (Oberea bimaculata) which, in the larval state, bores into pith and destroy the canes or stalks of the raspberry, blackberry, etc.
  • noun a mill for grinding sugar canes, for the manufacture of sugar.
  • noun the crushed stalks and other refuse of sugar cane, used for fuel, etc.
  • transitive verb To beat with a cane.
  • transitive verb To make or furnish with cane or rattan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The slender, flexible main stem of a plant such as bamboo, including many species in the Grass family Gramineae.
  • noun uncountable The plant itself, including many species in the Grass family Gramineae; a reed.
  • noun uncountable sugar cane. (US, Southern) Sometimes applied to maize or rarely to sorghum when such plants are processed to make molasses (treacle) or sugar.
  • noun countable A short rod or stick, traditionally of wood or bamboo, used for corporal punishment.
  • noun countable, glassblowing A length of colored and/or patterned glass rod, used in the specific glassblowing technique called caneworking.
  • noun uncountable Corporal punishment by beating with a cane; the cane.
  • noun countable A strong short staff used for support or decoration during walking; a walking stick.
  • noun countable A long rod often collapsible and commonly white (for visibility to other persons), used by blind persons for guidance in determining their course and for probing for obstacles in their path.
  • verb To strike or beat with a cane or similar implement.
  • verb UK, New Zealand, slang To destroy.
  • verb UK, New Zealand, slang To do something well, in a competent fashion.
  • verb UK It hurts.
  • verb transitive To make or furnish with cane or rattan.


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin canna, small reed, from Greek kanna, of Semitic origin; see qnw in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French cane ("sugar cane"), from Latin canna ("reed"), from Ancient Greek κάννα (kánna), from Aramaic qanhā, qanyā, from Akkadian qanu 'tube, reed', from Sumerian gin 'reed'.


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  • Citation at budwood.

    September 7, 2008