- any of several plants belonging to the genus Rheum, of the buckwheat family, as R. officinale, having a medicinal rhizome, and R. rhabarbarum, having edible leafstalks.
- the rhizome of any medicinal species of this plant, forming a combined cathartic and astringent.
- the edible, fleshy leafstalks of R. rhabarbarum, used in making pies, preserves, etc.
- Slang. a quarrel or squabble.
Origin of rhubarb
Examples from the Web for rhubarb
RHUBY is a heady blend of rhubarb, beets, carrots, and cardamom.Art in the Age: Ex-Ad Man Steven Grasse’s Wonderfully Weird Spirits
August 4, 2012
Serve the Baked Alaska immediately with the rhubarb syrup and extra raspberries.That '70s Food
April 22, 2011
Rhubarb Roulade This powdered sugar-dusted pink-and-white pinwheel is a classically beautiful Gourmet dessert.A Sweet Send-off for Gourmet
October 14, 2009
Among these are rhubarb, cranberries, and green gooseberries.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Peel the rhubarb stalks and cut them into small square pieces.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
At one end, next the rhubarb, grew feathery asparagus, with red berries.O Pioneers!
Well, her ladyship is bent on making some marmalade and rhubarb jam.Lady Bountiful
George A. Birmingham
Rhubarb down at the point at the Forbes Municipal Field, but that's about all.The Circuit Riders
R. C. FitzPatrick
- any of several temperate and subtropical plants of the polygonaceous genus Rheum, esp R. rhaponticum (common garden rhubarb), which has long green and red acid-tasting edible leafstalks, usually eaten sweetened and cooked
- the leafstalks of this plant
- a related plant, Rheum officinale, of central Asia, having a bitter-tasting underground stem that can be dried and used medicinally as a laxative or astringent
- US and Canadian slang a heated discussion or quarrel
- the noise made by actors to simulate conversation, esp by repeating the word rhubarb at random
- to simulate conversation, esp by repeating the word rhubarb at random
Word Origin and History for rhubarb
late 14c., from Old French rubarbe, from Medieval Latin rheubarbarum, from Greek rha barbaron "foreign rhubarb," from rha "rhubarb," perhaps ultimately from a source akin to Persian rewend "rhubarb" (associated in Greek with Rha, ancient Scythian name of the River Volga) + barbaron, neuter of barbaros "foreign" (see barbarian). Grown in China and Tibet, it was imported into ancient Europe by way of Russia.
Spelling altered in Medieval Latin by association with rheum. European native species so called from 1640s. Baseball slang meaning "loud squabble on the field" is from 1938, of unknown origin, said to have been first used by broadcaster Garry Schumacher. Perhaps connected with use of rhubarb as a word repeated by stage actors to give the impression of hubbub or conversation (attested from 1934).