pearl tapioca


See under tapioca.

Nearby words

  1. pearl of great price,
  2. pearl onion,
  3. pearl oyster,
  4. pearl perch,
  5. pearl river,
  6. pearl tumor,
  7. pearl-clutching,
  8. pearland,
  9. pearlash,
  10. pearler


[ tap-ee-oh-kuh ]
/ ˌtæp iˈoʊ kə /


a food substance prepared from cassava in granular, flake, pellet (pearl tapioca), or flour form, used in puddings, as a thickener, etc.

Origin of tapioca

1605–15; < Portuguese < Tupi tipioca literally, juice (of cassava) squeezed out, i.e., pulp after squeezing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pearl tapioca


/ (ˌtæpɪˈəʊkə) /


a beadlike starch obtained from cassava root, used in cooking as a thickening agent, esp in puddings

Word Origin for tapioca

C18: via Portuguese from Tupi tipioca pressed-out juice, from tipi residue + ok to squeeze out

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 pearl tapioca



1640s, from Portuguese or Spanish tapioca, from Tupi (Brazil) tipioca, from tipi "residue, dregs" + og, ok "to squeeze out" (from roots of the cassava plant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper