[ bam-boo ]

noun,plural bam·boos.
  1. any of the woody or treelike tropical and semitropical grasses of the genera Bambusa, Phyllostachys, Dendrocalamus, and allied genera, having woody, usually hollow stems with stalked blades and flowering only after years of growth.

  2. the stem of such a plant, used as a building material and for making furniture, poles, etc.

Origin of bamboo

1590–1600; spelling variant of earlier bambu<Malay, apparently <Dravidian; compare Kannada bambu, bombu a large, hollow bam-boo (or directly < Dravidian); replacing bambus<Dutch bamboes; compare New Latin bambūsa

Words Nearby bamboo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bamboo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bamboo


/ (bæmˈbuː) /

  1. any tall treelike tropical or semitropical fast-growing grass of the genus Bambusa, having hollow woody-walled stems with ringed joints and edible young shoots (bamboo shoots)

  2. the stem of any of these plants, used for building, poles, and furniture

  1. any of various bamboo-like grasses of the genera Arundinaria, Phyllostachys or Dendrocalamus

  2. (modifier) made of bamboo: a bamboo fence

Origin of bamboo

C16: probably from Malay bambu

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