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See also: RICE, Rice, ricé, and -rice



Unpolished rice (grains of Oryza sativa)


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English rys, from Old French ris, from Old Italian riso, risi, from Byzantine Greek ὄρυζα (óruza), which see for more information.


rice (countable and uncountable, plural rices)

  1. (uncountable) Cereal plants, Oryza sativa of the grass family whose seeds are used as food.
    • 1831, Daniel Jay Browne, The Naturalist[1], volume 1, page 375:
      Rice is a tropical plant; yet Carolina and Georgia grow the finest in the world; heavier grained, better filled, and more merchantable, than any imported into Europe from the Indies.
    • 1982, International Rice Research Institute, Drought Resistance in Crops with Emphasis on Rice[2]:
      Drought stress causes yield reductions and sometimes total crop failures in rainfed rice areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
    • 2014, V. S. Rao, Transgenic Herbicide Resistance in Plants[3]:
      Rice transformed with genes encoding human CYP1a1, CYP2B6, and CYP2C19 are more tolerant of various herbicides than non-transgenic rice plants, due to increased metabolism by the introduced P450 enzymes [Kawwahigashi et al. 2005a, 2007, 2008; James et al. 2008].
  2. (countable) A specific variety of this plant.
    • 1895, Sir Walter Roper Lawrence, The Valley of Kashmír[4]:
      The rices of Kashmír are infinite in variety. In one tahsíl I have found fifty-three varieties.
    • 1922 April 1, L. Humbert, “America Has Hard Competition in France”, in Rice Journal and Southern Farmer[5], volume 25, number 4:
      First, we have the Italian rices; secondly, the rices of the French colonies of Indo-China and Madagascar, which are beginning to cultivate rices of very fine quality, altogether superior to those that were cultivated only a few years back.
    • 2000, R.K Singh; U.S. Singh; G.S. Khush, editors, Aromatic Rices[6]:
      For commercial purposes, the rices are classified according to the kernel length as short-grain, medium-grain, longgrain and long-slender-grain.
  3. (uncountable) The seeds of this plant used as food.
    • 1881, Mary Foote Henderson, Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving[7]:
      Mold boiled rice, when hot, in cups which have been previously dipped in cold water; when cold, turn them out on a flat dish, arranging them uniformly; then with a tea-spoon scoop out a little of the rice from the top of each cone, and put in its place any kind of jelly.
    • 1998, Noreen G. Dowling, Sustainability of Rice in the Global Food System[8]:
      In sum, when a modern Japanese family and its members sit around the supper table eating their bowls of Japanese-grown rice, they are not simply indulging a gastronomic preference for short-grained and slightly sticky japonica rice over long-grained indica rice from Thailand.
    • 2010, S. D. Sharma, Rice: Origin, Antiquity and History[9]:
      On the festival day, rice is cooked together with this rice knot above.
Coordinate termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Derived termsEdit


rice (third-person singular simple present rices, present participle ricing, simple past and past participle riced)

  1. (transitive) To squeeze through a ricer; to mash or make into rice-sized pieces (especially potatoes).
    • 1881, Maria Parloa, Miss Parloa's New Cook Book: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking[10]:
      Riced Potato. Have a flat dish and the colander hot. With a spoon, rub mashed potato through the colander on to the hot dish.
    • 1961, Potato Chipper, volume 21, page 88:
      Following ricing, the potato mash proceeds to the drum drier where flaking is done.
    • 2015, Lorna Seilstad, As Love Blooms (The Gregory Sisters Book #3): A Novel:
      Last night I riced the potatoes and added in the cream and butter while they were hot, so today wll we have to do is add flour and roll them out.
  2. (intransitive) To harvest wild rice (Zizania sp.)
    • 1894, John Merle Coulter, Botanical Gazette[11], page 505:
      In northern Minnesota the whites have invented the verb "to rice," and speak of "ricing," i. e., harvesting the crop of wild rice.
    • 1988, Thomas Vennum, Wild rice and the Ojibway people:
      When ricing, the Ojibway dress warmly at first; by midday they may shed some clothes as harvest toil combines with the hot sun of late summer to warm them.
    • 2002, David Laursen, A Capital Place: Reminiscences of a Sandy Lake Boyhood[12]:
      As it was, the Indian seldom bothered to harvest wild rice on public waters after opening day of the ricing season.
  3. (rare) To throw rice at a person (usually at a wedding).
    • 1886 July 24, “Echoes of the Week”, in The Illustrated London News[13], volume 89, page 90:
      So far as I can make out, the idiotic function of “ricing” English brides and bridegrooms is not twenty years old.
    • 2002, Helen Argers, The Gilded Lily[14]:
      The couple was well riced and sent on their way.
    • 2006, Timothy Lee, Billy: A Gay Trilogy:
      As the reception ended the two newlyweds were riced to death and fled into an awaiting getaway car and drove off...followed by a stream of tin cans.
  4. (computing, transitive) To customize the user interface of a computer system, e.g. a desktop environment.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English ris, rys, from Old English hrīs (branch; twig), from Proto-Germanic *hrīsą (bush; twig), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kreys- (to turn; bend; wind; move; shake). Cognate with Scots reise, rice (twigs; brushwood), West Frisian riis, rys, Dutch rijs (little branch; twig; osier; whip), German Low German Ries, German Reis (twig; sprig; shoot), Swedish ris (twigs; brush; rod), Icelandic hrís.

Alternative formsEdit


rice (plural rices)

  1. (now chiefly, dialectal, Scotland, Ireland) A twig or stick.
    • 1834, John Johnstone, A systematic treatise on the theory and practice of draining land[15]:
      To guard the bank from the impression of the water, a fence, OF STAKE AND RICE, may be made along the bottom of it next the sea, which will last till the surface on that side is sufficiently swarded, and the mound properly consolidated.
    • 1851, Henry Stephens, The Book of the Farm[16], volume 1:
      Another form of dead-hedge is the stake-and-rice, and it is formed of the branches of forest trees; and where these are plentiful and thorns scarce, it is an economical dead fence.
    • 1881 July 16, Notes and Queries (6)‎[17], volume 6:
      "Gilbert White, the well-known naturalist, in a letter dated Selborne, Oct. 4th, 1775, says, 'Our people here, you know, call coppice-wood or hedge-wood rice or rise. Is this word still in use in that neighbourhood? And is it also known in Surrey?"
  2. (weaving, obsolete) A bobbin or spool.
    • 1892, John Cordy Jeaffreson, editor, Middlesex County Records[18], volume 4:
      [] taken unlawfully from the same house five "machines called 'Engine-Weaving Loomes' worth thirty pounds, and two ounces of silke worth five shillings, and two joynt-stooles worth three shillings, and a pair of 'Rices to wind silke on' worth four shillings []
    • 1895, Richard Marsden, Cotton Weaving: Its Development, Principles, and Practice[19]:
      The hanks are placed upon light, collapsible hexagon reels termed rices, which are easily lifted out of their position for the reception of the hank.
    • 1977, Marianne Straub, Hand weaving and cloth design:
      Swift (rice) Skein holder, hank holder.
Related termsEdit


Lower SorbianEdit


  • IPA(key): /ˈrʲit͡sɛ/, [ˈrʲit͡sə]



  1. third-person plural present of ricaś

Old EnglishEdit


From Proto-Germanic *rīkijaz (mighty), *rīkiją (authority), from Proto-Celtic *rīgiom (kingdom), from *rīxs (king) (compare Irish ), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃rḗǵs (king). Cognates include Old Saxon rīki, Dutch rijk, Old High German rīhhi (German Reich, reich), Old Norse ríki noun, ríkr adj (Swedish rike noun, rik adj), Gothic 𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐌹 (reiki) noun, 𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐌴𐌹𐍃 (reikeis) adj. The Indo-European root is also the source of Latin rēx.



rīċe n

  1. power, authority, dominion
  2. kingdom, empire
    • Cotton MS Tiberus B.i, Maxims II
      Cyning sceal rice healdan.
      Ceastra beoð feorran gesyne [...]
      The king shall hold a kingdom.
      Cities will be seen from afar [...]





  1. powerful, mighty; rich


See alsoEdit

Old FrenchEdit


rice m (oblique and nominative feminine singular rice)

  1. (Picardy) Alternative form of riche




  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of rizar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of rizar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of rizar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of rizar.