[ tur-mer-ik ]
/ ˈtɜr mər ɪk /


the aromatic rhizome of an Asian plant, Curcuma domestica (or C. longa), of the ginger family.
a powder prepared from it, used as a condiment, as in curry powder, or as a yellow dye, a medicine, etc.
the plant itself.
any of various similar substances or plants.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of turmeric

1530–40; earlier tarmaret < Medieval Latin terra merita merited earth, unexplained name for curcuma
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for turmeric

British Dictionary definitions for turmeric

/ (ˈtɜːmərɪk) /


a tropical Asian zingiberaceous plant, Curcuma longa, having yellow flowers and an aromatic underground stem
the powdered stem of this plant, used as a condiment and as a yellow dye
any of several other plants with similar roots

Word Origin for turmeric

C16: from Old French terre merite, from Medieval Latin terra merita, literally: meritorious earth, name applied for obscure reasons to curcuma
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