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

  • noun A widely cultivated tropical Asian aroid plant (Colocasia esculenta) having broad peltate leaves and large starchy edible tubers.
  • noun The tuber of this plant.
  • noun Any of several similar plants of the South American genus Xanthosoma, having sagittate leaves.
  • noun The starchy edible tuber of this plant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gold coin of the Arab emirs of Sicily of the tenth and eleventh centuries; of the Lombard dukes of the seventh century; of the Two Sicilies under Norman rule in the fourth century; of Amalfi in the eleventh century.
  • noun A food-plant, Colocasia antiquorum, especially the variety esculenta, a native of India, but widely cultivated in the warmer parts of the globe, particularly in the Pacific islands.
  • noun A money of account and coin of silver, and also of copper, formerly used in Malta under the Grand Masters.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A name for several aroid plants (Colocasia antiquorum, var. esculenta, Colocasia macrorhiza, etc.), and their rootstocks. They have large ovate-sagittate leaves and large fleshy tuberous rootstocks, which are cooked and used for food in tropical countries.

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

  • noun Colocasia esculenta, raised as a food primarily for its corm, which distantly resembles potato.
  • noun Any of several other species with similar corms and growth habit in Colocasia, Alocasia etc.
  • noun Food from a taro plant.

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

  • noun herb of the Pacific islands grown throughout the tropics for its edible root and in temperate areas as an ornamental for its large glossy leaves
  • noun edible starchy tuberous root of taro plants
  • noun tropical starchy tuberous root


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

[Probably Tahitian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Maori taro, in turn from Proto-Polynesian *talo.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word taro.



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

  • Taro (from Tahitian or other Polynesian languages), more rarely kalo (from Hawaiian), is a tropical plant grown primarily as a vegetable food for its edible corm, and secondarily as a leaf vegetable. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. Taro is closely related to Xanthosoma and Caladium, plants commonly grown as ornamentals, and like them it is sometimes loosely called elephant ear.


    February 19, 2008