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arrowroot

[ar-oh-root, -roo t]
noun
  1. a tropical American plant, Maranta arundinacea, the rhizomes of which yield a nutritious starch.
  2. the starch itself.
  3. any of several other plants yielding a similar starch.
  4. the starch of these plants, used in cooking as a binder or thickener.
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Origin of arrowroot

First recorded in 1690–1700; so called from use of its root in treatment of wounds made by poisoned arrows
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arrowroot

Historical Examples

  • When it thickens, add the arrowroot, also mixed smoothly with milk.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • She was taking him the arrowroot which I had ordered over-night.

  • Please send some fever medicine, by the bearer, and some arrowroot.

  • The flour grated from the mass should be used the same as arrowroot or rice.'

    The Physical Life of Woman:

    Dr. George H Napheys

  • The best hats are made of the stalks of the arrowroot plant.

    The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson

    Nellie van De Grift Sanchez


British Dictionary definitions for arrowroot

arrowroot

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

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper