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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Alcohol can be produced from plants such as sugar cane and cassava by fermentation and distillation.
▪ Coconuts are being scraped and the juice is squeezed on pounded taro or cassava for puddings.
▪ In response peasants cultivate bulkier but less nutritious crops, such as cassava.
▪ In the reverse direction the country received its most abundantly grown foodstuffs of today - maize and cassava.
▪ Jungle herbs and cassava root chips', was all I was told.
▪ Many farmers stopped producing cocoa altogether or switched to food crops, like maize or cassava, that fetched more reliable prices.
▪ The main cash crops were coffee, sugar cane and cotton, with cassava the domestic staple.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cassava \Cas"sa*va\ (k[a^]s"s[.a]*v[.a]), n. [F. cassave, Sp. cazabe, fr. kasabi, in the language of Haiti.]

  1. (Bot.) A shrubby euphorbiaceous plant of the genus Manihot, with fleshy rootstocks yielding an edible starch; -- called also manioc.

    Note: There are two species, bitter and sweet, from which the cassava of commerce is prepared in the West Indies, tropical America, and Africa. The bitter ( Manihot utilissima) is the more important; this has a poisonous sap, but by grating, pressing, and baking the root the poisonous qualities are removed. The sweet ( Manihot Aipi) is used as a table vegetable.

  2. A nutritious starch obtained from the rootstocks of the cassava plant, used as food and in making tapioca.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1560s, from French cassave, Spanish casabe, or Portuguese cassave, from Taino (Haiti) caçabi. Earlier in English as cazabbi (1550s).


n. 1 manioc, the source of tapioca, (taxlink Manihot esculenta species noshow=1). 2 tapioca, a starchy pulp made with the roots of this tropical plant.

  1. n. a starch made by leaching and drying the root of the cassava plant; the source of tapioca; a staple food in the tropics [syn: cassava starch, manioc, manioca]

  2. cassava root eaten as a staple food after drying and leaching; source of tapioca [syn: manioc]

  3. any of several plants of the genus Manihot having fleshy roots yielding a nutritious starch [syn: casava]


Manihot esculenta ( commonly called cassava , Brazilian arrowroot, manioc, tapioca, ދަނދިއަލުވި, in The Maldives and yuca) is a woody shrub native to South America of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Though it is often called yuca in Spanish and in the United States, it differs from the yucca, an unrelated fruit-bearing shrub in the family Asparagaceae. Cassava, when dried to a powdery (or pearly) extract, is called tapioca; its fermented, flaky version is named garri.

Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize. Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people. It is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils. Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporter of dried cassava.

Cassava is classified as either sweet or bitter. Like other roots and tubers, both bitter and sweet varieties of cassava contain antinutritional factors and toxins, with the bitter varieties containing much larger amounts. They must be properly prepared before consumption, as improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication, goiters, and even ataxia or partial paralysis. The more toxic varieties of cassava are a fall-back resource (a "food security crop") in times of famine in some places. Farmers often prefer the bitter varieties because they deter pests, animals, and thieves.

Usage examples of "cassava".

I on the other hand had ostentatiously ordered in Swahili: mogo, otherwise known as cassava, served with a tamarind chutney, brinjal curry, karahi karela, tarka dhal and rotis to show my cosmopolitanism.

The cook prepared a sumptuous meal after sunset, roasting a side of ribs from the slaughtered shoat and serving it with a sauce of apricots and plums, riverweed fried with ginger, and side dishes of candied sweet potatoes and cassava porridge flavored with cumin.

On the way home he stopped at Vons to pick up some avocados -- he felt like guacamole -- and while lingering near the produce counter he noticed a curious willowy woman in gray sweats, squeezing the plump cassava melons, one by one.

A goat was killed and many chickens, and there were fruit and cassava bread and native beer in plenty for all.

Blake and Zeyd, it had been a merry party that made free with the cassava and beer of the villagers that night, for the Waziri were not worrying about their chief.

Euphorbias, it is true, grew in considerable numbers, but as they were only of the oil-producing species, and not the kind from which cassava or manioc is procured, they were useless in an alimentary point of view.

Three times daily, a diet of unappetizing, greasy food-principally cassava, rice and noodles-was brought to them.

Then he put everything on a plate where there was a piece of marinated cassava and some cold rice, leftovers from lunch.

Then, in the same plate, she served a piece of stewed meat, two slices of cassava, and half a plantain and took it to the table.

The gatekeeper had told one of the vicars that at dawn a man in mourning had handed over a fair-haired girl dressed like a queen, but she had learned nothing more about her because just at that moment the beggars were fighting over the Palm Sunday cassava soup.

She looked at the food: a few shreds of dried meat, a piece of cassava bread, and a cup of chocolate.

For his part, Cayetano Delaura attempted the purification that precedes exorcism and shut himself away in the library with nothing to eat but cassava bread and water.

Every day, ever since he had taken possession of the house, he had supervised the milking in the cow barns to measure with his own hand the quantity of milk that the three presidential wagons would carry to the barracks in the city, in the kitchen he would have a mug of black coffee and some cassava without knowing too well the direction in which the whimsical winds of the new day would blow him, always attent on the gabbling of the servants, who were the people in the house who spoke the same language as he, whose serious blandishments he respected most, and whose hearts he best deciphered, and a short time before nine o'clock he would take a slow bath in water with boiled leaves in the granite cistern built in the shadow of the almond trees of his private courtyard, and only after eleven o'clock would he manage to overcome the drowsiness of dawn and confront the hazards of reality.

The strong black coffee, syrupy with sugar, made Peter buzz with happy anxiousness to get going, to get to work, and the catfish, served with cassava bread broken from large flat wheels, tasted better than any breakfast he remembered eating in years.

It was embanked and neatly ditched, raising it a little above the soft black earth of the cornfields tasseling out around them and the cassava patches, vegetable gardens, groves.