rhubarb

[ roo-bahrb ]
/ ˈru bɑrb /

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noun

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

1350–1400; Middle English rubarb, reubarb < Old French r(e)ubarbe < Medieval Latin reubarbarum < Greek rhéon bárbaron foreign rhubarb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for rhubarb

rhubarb

/ (ˈruːbɑːb) /

noun

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

verb

to simulate conversation, esp by repeating the word rhubarb at random

Word Origin for rhubarb

C14: from Old French reubarbe, from Medieval Latin reubarbum, probably a variant of rha barbarum barbarian rhubarb, from rha rhubarb (from Greek, perhaps from Rha ancient name of the Volga) + Latin barbarus barbarian
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