[ ar-oh-root, -roo t ]
/ ˈær oʊˌrut, -ˌrʊt /


a tropical American plant, Maranta arundinacea, the rhizomes of which yield a nutritious starch.
the starch itself.
any of several other plants yielding a similar starch.
the starch of these plants, used in cooking as a binder or thickener.

Nearby words

  1. arrow,
  2. arrow arum,
  3. arrow, kenneth joseph,
  4. arrowgrass,
  5. arrowhead,
  6. arrows,
  7. arrowsmith,
  8. arrowwood,
  9. arrowworm,
  10. arrowy

Origin of arrowroot

First recorded in 1690–1700; so called from use of its root in treatment of wounds made by poisoned arrows Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arrowroot

British Dictionary definitions for arrowroot


/ (ˈærəʊˌruːt) /


a white-flowered West Indian plant, Maranta arundinacea, whose rhizomes yield an easily digestible starch: family Marantaceae
the starch obtained from this plant
any of several other plants whose rhizomes or roots yield starch
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 arrowroot



1690s, from arrow + root (n.). So called because it was used to absorb toxins from poison-dart wounds.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper