Definition of emmer in US English:



  • An old kind of Eurasian wheat with bearded ears and spikelets that each contain two grains, now grown mainly for fodder and breakfast cereals.

    Triticum dicoccum, family Gramineae

    Compare with einkorn, spelt
    • ‘In England, thatching straw would have been obtained primarily from spelt wheat which replaced emmer wheat as the staple throughout southern England in the Iron Age.’
    • ‘Most of the time aysh is made from barley and emmer wheat, the most common crops in Egypt.’
    • ‘The many thousands of grains comprise not just emmer and naked barley, but also bread wheat - which points clearly to the Neolithic - and linseed.’
    • ‘Three species exist both as wild and domesticated wheats, einkorn, emmer, and breadwheat.’
    • ‘About 10,000 years ago, nomadic tribes began cultivating grains such as linkorn and emmer, the ancestors of wheat.’
    • ‘The most complete evidence has come from the Near East, where domesticated barley and emmer wheat strains have been found which date from about 8000 BC.’
    • ‘Bread wheat was the accidental ‘unnatural’ crossing of einkorn and then emmer wheat with another species.’
    • ‘Ancient or modern farmers have grown four wheat species: einkorn, emmer, timopheevi, and common (hexaploid, or bread) wheat.’
    • ‘Other Iron Age crops included the more ancient emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum, which was grown on light soils), bread wheat, oats, rye, peas, Celtic beans, and flax.’
    • ‘About 2,500 of the grains are from wild barley and 100 from wild emmer wheat.’


Early 20th century: from German, from Old High German amer ‘spelt’.