• synonyms


[ roo-tuh-bey-guh, roo-tuh-bey- ]
/ ˌru təˈbeɪ gə, ˈru təˌbeɪ- /


a brassicaceous plant, Brassica napobrassica, having a yellow- or white-fleshed, edible tuber.
the edible tuber, a variety of turnip.

Nearby words

rustproofing, rusty, rusty blackbird, rusty sputum, rut, rutabaga, rutaceous, ruth, ruth, babe, ruthenia, ruthenian

Origin of rutabaga

1790–1800, Americanism; < Swedish (dial.) rotabagge
Also called Swedish turnip. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rutabaga

  • The Rutabaga is a productive variety, and possesses a good deal of nutriment.

    Soil Culture|J. H. Walden
  • He still calls the beet a beet-root and the rutabaga a mangel-wurzel.

    The American Language|Henry L. Mencken
  • Early purple-top strap-leaf turnip, early cabbage, lettuce, rutabaga turnips.

  • We may get bitten by a snapping bean or routed by a rutabaga or infected by a parsnip.

British Dictionary definitions for rutabaga


/ (ˌruːtəˈbeɪɡə) /


US and Canadian a Eurasian plant, Brassica napus (or B. napobrassica), cultivated for its bulbous edible root, which is used as a vegetable and as cattle fodder: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
the root of this plant
Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): swede

Word Origin for rutabaga

C18: from Swedish dialect rotabagge, literally: root bag
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 rutabaga



1799, from Swedish dialectal (West Götland) rotabagge, from rot "root" (see root (n.)) + bagge "bag" (see bag (n.)). Slang meaning "dollar" is from 1940s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper