• synonyms


  1. any of various chiefly Old World plants belonging to the genus Curcuma, of the ginger family, as C. domestica, yielding turmeric, or C. zedoaria, yielding zedoary.
Show More

Origin of curcuma

1610–20; < New Latin < Arabic kurkum saffron, turmeric; cf. crocus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for curcuma

Historical Examples of curcuma

  • Titanite: Ammonium nitrate, trinitrotoluene, curcuma charcoal.

    The New Gresham Encyclopedia


  • Turmeric, the root of a plant called Curcuma longa, a native of the East Indies, used as a yellow dye.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher

  • Turmeric is the underground stem of the Curcuma tinctoria, the coloring principle being called curcumin.

  • Other changes of vegetables from climate or other causes are remarked in the note on Curcuma in the same work.

  • Turmeric is the underground stem or tuber of Curcuma tinctoria, a plant growing abundantly in the East Indies.

British Dictionary definitions for curcuma


  1. any tropical Asian tuberous plant of the genus Curcuma, such as C. longa, which is the source of turmeric, and C. zedoaria, which is the source of zedoary: family Zingiberaceae
Show More

Word Origin for curcuma

C17: from New Latin, from Arabic kurkum turmeric
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