- 1. An important cereal plant of the grass family, native to SE Asia and having branched flower-heads bearing numerous starchy grain-like seeds. The commonest higher-yielding type, Lowland rice, is cultivated in flooded paddy fields, while Upland rice is cultivated on dry land, and can be grown in cooler drier regions.
2. The edible starchy seeds resembling grains (known either as long-grain rice or short-grain rice depending on their shape) that are produced by this plant and which form the staple food for over half the world's population. These grains are called brown rice when only the outer fibrous husk of the seed is removed by milling, and white rice when the bran is then removed by polishing. Also as adj.
- Example: rice fields
- Example: rice pudding
- (N Amer)
- To press soft food, especially cooked potatoes, through a coarse sieve (a ricer), to form strands or to give it a roughly mashed consistency.