[ 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.

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