Definition of kumara in English:



  • A sweet potato.

    • ‘The climate in the area is warmer than in places further south and it is not possible to grow kumara further south.’
    • ‘There is an old Maori saying that the kumara never says how sweet it is.’
    • ‘You could also use kumara for that sweet potato taste.’
    • ‘We ate hangi for dinner - meat, smoky carrots and kumara cooked in baskets under the earth on hot rocks for over three hours.’
    • ‘And then it grew to the size of a small root vegetable - perhaps a kumara.’


  • suck the kumara

    • informal Suffer a defeat or disaster; fail.

      ‘I'm sucking the kumara big time’
      • ‘He's quite keen for you to suck the kumara.’
      • ‘One of the engines has sucked the kumara.’
      • ‘I am thankful my wife walked the last 5 km with me because I was definitely sucking the kumara.’
      • ‘He may be "rogue" now, but once he's sucked the kumara, Jones will be the man of the hour.’


Late 18th century: from Maori.