Definition of rye in English:



mass noun
  • 1A wheat-like cereal plant which tolerates poor soils and low temperatures.

    Secale cereale, family Gramineae

    • ‘The developing grain head on all small grains (winter wheat, rye, triticale, barley) is located just above the highest stem node of the plant.’
    • ‘This usually entails lifelong avoidance of all cereals containing gluten, including wheat, oats, rye and barley.’
    • ‘Monotony came from the self-sufficiency of small farms; since bread was the staple food, most farms grew wheat, along with other cereals like rye, oat, buckwheat, maize and barley.’
    • ‘We know that they grew wheat, rye, oats and barley.’
    • ‘Greenbugs feed on a variety of grass crops, including wheat, oats, barley, rye and sorghum.’
    • ‘Avoid barley, corn, oats, rye, and wheat; many people experience congestion, poor digestion, and other symptoms when they eat these grains.’
    • ‘Annual cover crops such as vetch, triticale, rye, winter wheat or Austrian winter peas should be sown in mid-September.’
    • ‘Although the thought of grass conjures up notions of farm food and lawn mowing, cereal grasses such as wheat, barley, oat, rye and kamut are non-toxic and likely the healthiest foods on earth.’
    • ‘Wheat, barley, rice, rye, oats, millet and corn are the world's top food crops.’
    • ‘Cereals include wheat, rice, barley, oats, rye, maize, millet, and sorghum, all of which have been used as food since prehistoric times, and cultivated since antiquity.’
    1. 1.1 Grains of rye, used mainly for making bread or whisky, and for fodder.
      as modifier ‘rye flour’
      • ‘For example, multi-grain bagels, rye crackers, brown rice and oatmeal fuel muscles and protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.’
      • ‘The product is whole grain if the first ingredient is whole grain, whole wheat or rye (plain wheat flour is not whole grain).’
      • ‘The basis of the Mordvin economy was cereal agriculture, and the staples of the Mordvin diet were bread made from rye flour, as well as oats and barley.’
      • ‘But people eat seven-grain bread with wheat and rye in it every day.’
      • ‘Bread made from rye flour with all the bran removed is pale grey.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the WWI recipe substitutes equal amounts corn and rye flour for wheat products.’
      • ‘It certainly lends itself more to toasting than the close-textured rye breads, staple food in much of northern Europe.’
      • ‘In a large bowl, combine the plain white and rye flours with the soda and soft brown sugar.’
      • ‘Look for oatmeal, barley, brown rice, rye flakes and wheat germ.’
      • ‘There is evidence from 4000 BC in the Swiss lake habitations that the people made it from barley and rye flour.’
  • 2Whisky in which a significant amount of the grain used in distillation is fermented rye.

    ‘half a bottle of rye’
    • ‘If my memory serves, he had ruined his stomach with rotgut whiskey, and had taken to drinking his rye with milk.’
    • ‘Your four food groups are beer, vodka, rye, and rum.’
    • ‘Spirits such as whisky, bourbon, Cognac, Armagnac and rye derive virtually all their colour from the time they spend in oak barrels - they would be clear as water otherwise.’
    • ‘Two bars offer brisk service, and the bartenders will occasionally let you order up to four tiny drinks at a time, with rum, gin, vodka and rye on the menu.’
    • ‘The secret, he tells me, is to use decent bourbon rather than the more traditional rye, and he garnishes the drink with a twist of lemon and a fresh blackberry.’
    • ‘He ordered an Irish coffee and I ordered a shot of rye, straight up.’
    • ‘Freer admitted downing half a bottle of vodka and half a bottle of Canadian rye before the assault.’
    • ‘If his teammates are to be believed, he was capable of draining a bathtub full of beer and two bottles of rye in a single sitting.’
    • ‘The coffin was open, and someone had placed a pint bottle of rye and several blues harps next to the late Junior, who lay there looking stately in a powder-blue suit and derby.’
    • ‘Good old boys drink whisky and rye, but what's the tipple of a famous drag queen?’
    • ‘Ruth orders four rounds of quadruple ryes, Faulkner orders four rounds of moonshine.’
    • ‘Heaven Hill markets more than 50 labels of bourbon, rye, scotch, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, cognac, wines and cordials.’
  • 3North American

    ‘pastrami on rye’
    short for rye bread
    • ‘Titus was getting almost weepy about this when Patrice limped in with the lunch and spread it out on the marble table: hot pastrami on rye, big pickles, pastries and coffee in white cardboard tubs.’
    • ‘And earlier this year, New York shops introduced their first menu item not originated in London: that hometown staple, pastrami on rye.’
    • ‘Jewish delis sell your basic beef (corned beef, roast beef, pastrami) hot on rye.’
    • ‘I think it's too soon to bake your calling card into a loaf of rye.’
    • ‘He kept talking with his mouth full of pastrami and rye.’
    • ‘We filled up on the requisite minimum daily requirement of pastrami on seeded rye with deli brown mustard.’
    • ‘Perfectly preserved, just as the top carried its distinct markings, just like the pattern of pricks in the round loaf of rye at Burgstrom's Bakery.’
    • ‘Sometimes I'll make furtive pilgrimages to the Carnegie Deli to dine on that whopper classic, the hot pastrami on rye.’
    • ‘And beside every platter of overcooked meat, she placed a golden loaf of seedless rye.’
    • ‘‘Hot pastrami on rye with mustard,’ she screams to the entire deli, although the meat slicer is only a few feet behind her.’
    • ‘As a heads up, buns and rolls normally go first - Italian bread, most whites - and keep an eye on the rye and pumpernickel.’
    • ‘Preferably on a nice, light rye with spicy mustard and a little horseradish?’
    • ‘Before he passed away a few years ago, he gave me his hoard of recipes, including authentic New York cheesecake, bagels, rye, pumpernickel, challah, cole slaw and many others.’
    • ‘The pastrami sandwiches on rye with mustard and coleslaw that Daddy brought home from his job didn't delight me like they used to.’


Old English ryge, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rogge and German Roggen.