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tapioca

[tap-ee-oh-kuh]
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noun
  1. a food substance prepared from cassava in granular, flake, pellet (pearl tapioca), or flour form, used in puddings, as a thickener, etc.

Origin of tapioca

1605–15; < Portuguese < Tupi tipioca literally, juice (of cassava) squeezed out, i.e., pulp after squeezing
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tapioca

tapioca

noun
  1. a beadlike starch obtained from cassava root, used in cooking as a thickening agent, esp in puddings

Word Origin

C18: via Portuguese from Tupi tipioca pressed-out juice, from tipi residue + ok to squeeze out
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tapioca

n.

1640s, from Portuguese or Spanish tapioca, from Tupi (Brazil) tipioca, from tipi "residue, dregs" + og, ok "to squeeze out" (from roots of the cassava plant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper