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

  • noun Any of various annual cereal grasses of the genus Triticum of the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia, especially T. aestivum, widely cultivated in temperate regions in many varieties for its commercially important edible grain.
  • noun The grain of any of these grasses, ground to produce flour used in breads, pasta, and other foods.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A cereal grain, the product of species of Triticum, chiefly of T. sativum (T. vulgare).
  • noun Fagopyrum Tataricum, which is cultivated to some extent in the United States, particularly in the northwest.
  • noun Present authority tends to include in one botanical species (Triticum æstivum; T. sativum of some authors) all the forms of cultivated wheat except the one-rowed wheat (see einkorn wheat) and the Polish wheat (see below). For the original application of T. æstivum see summer wheat. Two less important subtypes of T ætivum are spelt (which see) and emmer. The remaining varieties (sometimes combined in a subspecies tenax) are divided into four groups, for which see club, durum, poulard, and vulgare wheat. According to the cerealist of the United States Department of Agriculture the United States may be divided into eight wheat-growing districts: the soft wheat district, mainly the Middle and New England States;
  • noun the semi-hard winter wheat district, Ohio to Illinois, Michigan, and a small part of Wisconsin;
  • noun the southern wheat district, approximately the Southern States;
  • noun the hard spring wheat district, the northern States of the plains;
  • noun the hard winter wheat district, the middle States of the plains;
  • noun the durum wheat district, the southern States of the plains;
  • noun the irrigated wheat district, approximately the Rocky Mountain and Basin States;
  • noun the white wheat district, the Pacific coast States.
  • noun An inferior wheat mainly fed to chickens: a bearded variety hardy and early.
  • noun In the United States, commonly any hard-grained variety of the common wheat. Also flint wheat.
  • noun Specifically, a red bearded vulgare variety, a standard in Texas, introduced from the islands of the Mediterranean.
  • noun A red winter wheat of the vulgare type grown in Poland and southwest Russia.
  • noun A hard-grained, beardless, winter vulgare variety of the United States.
  • noun The poulard wheat in some of its forms.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A cereal grass (Triticum vulgare) and its grain, which furnishes a white flour for bread, and, next to rice, is the grain most largely used by the human race.
  • noun (Bot.) See Buckwheat.
  • noun (Bot.) See 2d Spelt.
  • noun (Bot.) a name for Indian corn.
  • noun (Bot.) a grain (Fagopyrum Tartaricum) much like buckwheat, but only half as large.
  • noun (Bot.) a name for Indian corn.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of Aphis and allied genera, which suck the sap of growing wheat.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A very small, reddish brown, oval beetle (Anobium paniceum) whose larvæ eat the interior of grains of wheat.
  • noun (Zoöl.), [Western U. S.] the American widgeon.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Same as Wheat midge, below.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of grass (Agropyrum caninum) somewhat resembling wheat. It grows in the northern parts of Europe and America.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Jointworm.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any wheat aphid.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the larva of a wheat midge.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The Hessian fly. See under Hessian.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any moth whose larvæ devour the grains of wheat, chiefly after it is harvested; a grain moth. See Angoumois Moth, also Grain moth, under Grain.
  • noun (Bot.) gromwell; -- so called because it is a troublesome weed in wheat fields. See Gromwell.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small brown thrips (Thrips cerealium) which is very injurious to the grains of growing wheat.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The rice weevil when found in wheat.

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

  • noun countable any of several cereal grains, of the genus Triticum, that yields flour as used in bakery.
  • noun uncountable a light brown colour, like that of wheat.
  • adjective wheaten, of a light brown colour, like that of wheat.

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

  • noun a variable yellow tint; dull yellow, often diluted with white
  • noun grains of common wheat; sometimes cooked whole or cracked as cereal; usually ground into flour
  • noun annual or biennial grass having erect flower spikes and light brown grains


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

[Middle English whete, from Old English hwǣte; see kweit- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English whete, from Old English hwǣte, from Proto-Germanic *hwaitijaz (cf. West Frisian weet, Dutch weit, German Weizen), from *hwītaz 'white'. More at white. For semantic development, compare Welsh gwenith 'wheat', from gwenn 'white'.


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


  • “Consumers who want the health benefits of whole grains should look for bread that is labeled ‘100 percent whole wheat,' or failing that, a bread where whole wheat flour, not just ‘wheat flour,' is the first ingredient,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.

    Settlement: Sara Lee Agrees To Change Misleading "Whole Grain" Packaging - The Consumerist 2008

  • Siberia a country in which nothing will grow; in some parts there is wheat, and where _wheat_ will not grow _barley_ will, and where _barley_ will not grow _turnips_ will.

    Far Off Favell Lee Mortimer 1840

  • _entirely_ of a grain other than wheat, _quick breads of desirable grain and texture may be made without wheat_.

    School and Home Cooking Carlotta Cherryholmes Greer

  • He spoke as follows: I suppose your only interest in wheat is the importance of the wheat in our financial structure.

    International Trading in Grain 1928

  • The world whole has to be in front of the word wheat.


  • The world whole has to be in front of the word wheat.


  • You have used wheat grains, is that what you call wheat berries or is it some new product of wheat?

    Wheatgrass Juice - A superfood? Meera 2008

  • Our chief supply of starch is obtained from the seed of certain most useful grasses, which we call wheat, oats, barley, rye, rice, and corn, and from the so-called "roots" of the potato.

    A Handbook of Health Woods Hutchinson 1896

  • I ask Stamey what she calls the wheat-like tone of the kitchen cabinets.

    The Seattle Times 2010

  • Then, I slice them thin, roll in wheat germ or whole wheat flour, and fry with onions and bacon.

    The Plea: Remember the Liver 2009


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