Definition of bamboo in English:



  • 1A giant woody grass that grows chiefly in the tropics, where it is widely cultivated.

    • ‘Rain drove us indoors to the warmth of a huge German wood-burning stove in a room with floor to ceiling windows, overlooking a large cobbled atrium with grasses and bamboos in containers.’
    • ‘All are supplied from his exotic collection of hundreds of different bamboos plus palms, tree ferns, grasses, unusual evergreens and rare conifers.’
    • ‘These included a number of exotic plants - rhododendrons, bamboos, and tree ferns being particularly well represented.’
    • ‘There are numerous true bamboos, running and clumping types, that can be grown in the garden or in large containers.’
    • ‘Upon reaching the unimaginably elegant and tranquil village, our visual senses were overwhelmed by verdant and lush hills, slender young bamboos, stout-aged pines, and two joyous streams.’
    • ‘The mild Puget Sound climate provides a perfect environment for the maples, bamboos, azaleas, broad-leafed evergreens, and conifers that are the backbone of Japanese garden design.’
    • ‘Grasses, sedges and bamboos are grown mostly for their foliage and anything that enhances that effect is worth having.’
    • ‘The turquoise blue Martha Brae river ran in a big curve through the estate, overhung with giant bamboos and full of crayfish.’
    • ‘Several noninvasive, clumping bamboos do well.’
    • ‘The undulating streams, swaying bamboos, sylvan surroundings and trekking tracts make Ganeshgudi and Dandeli unique holiday destinations.’
    • ‘Most bamboos fall between the two physiological states of constant flowering and constant sterility.’
    • ‘The towering banana trees, giant bamboos and coconut palms were surrounded by endless varieties of smaller plants and flowers.’
    • ‘Grasses and bamboos, on the other hand, hate disturbance at this time of year, preferring to be worked on in the spring or early summer.’
    • ‘Some bamboos will grow well in Wales as they are frost-hardy and evergreen.’
    • ‘The gardens which surround it include mature bamboos, tree ferns, Italian Cypresses and mature Agaves.’
    • ‘But I am going to shave and trim my goatee which seems to be growing at the happy rate of bamboos.’
    • ‘I have seen giant bamboos growing; the effect is a bit like a free range, organic church organ.’
    • ‘At the technical level, the bamboos were engraved by either a scorch-marking process or with sharp quartz flints, pieces of shell or other similar instruments.’
    • ‘The more desirable garden bamboos are, naturally, those that grow slowly at the root and have rapid vertical growth.’
    • ‘His slides showed examples of phormium, umbellifors, ferns and grasses, such as yuccas, angelica, tree ferns, bamboos and pampas grass.’
    1. 1.1The hollow jointed stem of the bamboo plant, used as a cane or to make furniture and implements.
      [as modifier] ‘a bamboo serving tray’
      • ‘The arrival of synthetic products may have pushed bamboo and cane out of the front rows in the market.’
      • ‘Shadow puppets are manipulated with bamboo sticks attached to the lower part of leather puppets.’
      • ‘As the masks are made of bamboo and cane, it is very light and easy to don.’
      • ‘The craftsmen process the bamboo by cleansing and soaking the bamboo stems in water for a couple of days.’
      • ‘They have no money and spend every day carrying rice up the mountain on bamboo sticks.’
      • ‘State bamboo and cane products received the first orders from China and Turkey.’
      • ‘The strong smoky flavour comes from laying the tea leaves on bamboo trays above burning pinewood.’
      • ‘Sometimes, the placing and spacing requires a bit of thought, so I poke in small bamboo canes where I want plants to go.’
      • ‘First they cut a little well into bark and fill it with water carried in hollow bamboo.’
      • ‘Jute bags look stylish enough, when used as carry bags fitted with bamboo or cane handles.’
      • ‘We also organise festivals to popularise bamboo furniture and local art forms.’
      • ‘For, artisans from the northeast are here with their bamboo and cane works.’
      • ‘For those who had seen only bamboo furniture on the roadsides, it was different.’
      • ‘I stand over another well, another deep hole, but this one has long bamboo poles and timber flung in.’
      • ‘The thatched roofs are made out of palm fronds, and the walls out of bamboo or cane.’
      • ‘With no windows the interior is illuminated only by the thin needles of light entering between the bamboo canes.’
      • ‘I always use a few bamboo canes to mark the planting position so I don't damage the shallow - planted bulbs.’
      • ‘They fed me on boiled pumpkin, wild rice, little mud fish and river prawns cooked in hollow bamboo tubes.’
      • ‘The neighboring village of Bona is also known as a major producer of bamboo furniture and basketry.’
      • ‘This reminds me of when my Dad used to make kites for me out of bamboo canes and brown paper.’


Late 16th century: from Dutch bamboes, based on Malay mambu.