- any of several tropical American plants belonging to the genus Manihot, of the spurge family, as M. esculenta (bitter cassava) and M. dulcis (sweet cassava), cultivated for their tuberous roots, which yield important food products.
- a nutritious starch from the roots, the source of tapioca.
Origin of cassava
Examples from the Web for cassava
A quick turn at a small stand of banana palms and cassava plants led us to a clearing and, then, back centuries.Uncovering Jamaica’s Jewish Past
Debra A. Klein
December 1, 2013
When a friend had potato greens for lunch, I traded her some of my cassava leaves.My Vanished Liberia
October 7, 2011
Sometimes the attacks happen on their way to and from the market or their cassava fields.Congo Rape Crisis: Study Reveals Shocking New Numbers
May 11, 2011
How delicious the plantains and cassava tasted, and some well-dressed venison.In the Wilds of Africa
Cassava is as vital to these Indians as the air they breathe.Edge of the Jungle
Tapioca is a kind of starch prepared from the farina of Cassava roots.Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics
The ground-nuts and cassava hold their own against the grasses for years.Stanley in Africa
James P. Boyd
The cassava cakes had dissolved into a soft, semi-liquid dough.Up the Mazaruni for Diamonds
William La Varre
- Also called: manioc any tropical euphorbiaceous plant of the genus Manihot, esp the widely cultivated American species M. esculenta (or utilissima) (bitter cassava) and M. dulcis (sweet cassava)
- a starch derived from the root of this plant: an important food in the tropics and a source of tapioca
Word Origin and History for cassava
1560s, from French cassave, Spanish casabe, or Portuguese cassave, from Taino (Haiti) caçabi. Earlier in English as cazabbi (1550s).