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From Middle English, from Old English ry?e, from Proto-Germanic *rugiz, from Proto-Indo-European *rúg?is. Germanic cognates include Dutch and West Frisian rogge, Low German Rogg, German Roggen, Old Norse rugr (Danish rug, Swedish råg); non-Germanic cognates include Russian ???? (rož?) and Latvian rudzi.
rye (countable and uncountable, plural ryes)
- A grain used extensively in Europe for making bread, beer, and (now generally) for animal fodder. [from 8th c.]
- The grass Secale cereale from which the grain is obtained. [from 14th c.]
- Rye bread. [from 19th c.]
- (US, Canada) Rye whiskey. [from 19th c.]
- Caraway (from the mistaken assumption that the whole seeds, often used to season rye bread, are the rye itself)
- Ryegrass, any of the species of Lolium.
- A disease of hawks.