Definition of turmeric in US English:



  • 1A bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family, used for flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking and formerly as a fabric dye.

    • ‘Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water helps to reduce pain and inflammation in Fibromyalgia.’
    • ‘The vegetarian curry was very good, made with potatoes, peas, eggplant and squash, and flavoured with turmeric and ginger.’
    • ‘Uthira and her family members use turmeric powder as an anti-septic for protecting their skin.’
    • ‘Cook the bread fruit and potatoes in a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt.’
    • ‘With the exception of capsicum, garlic, ginger and turmeric, most spices are not available in the United States as standardized extracts.’
    • ‘Mix in the puha, chilli, turmeric powder, salt and sugar.’
    • ‘Add coconut, tomato purée, chilli powder and turmeric to form a sauce.’
    • ‘One study at Loyola University in Chicago found that curcumin - the compound that gives turmeric its yellow color - prevents leukemia cells from multiplying in human cell cultures.’
    • ‘American mustard, as applied to hot dogs, is generally very mild and coloured bright yellow with turmeric.’
    • ‘The meatless concoctions were rounded out by lentil salad and yellow split peas cooked with turmeric, ginger and onions.’
    • ‘White curries obtain their milky yellow color from turmeric powder and are mild and lightly spiced.’
    • ‘Mix flour, salt, turmeric and curry powder in a large bowl.’
    • ‘To make the curry powder, combine the ground coriander, cumin, fenugreek, pepper, ginger, paprika and turmeric and mix well.’
    • ‘Cooking them with spices such as turmeric, cumin, ginger, asafoetida or garlic will kindle the digestive fire and make them easily digestible.’
    • ‘Add the tomatoes, spinach, chilli and turmeric powders and fry till the spinach wilts a bit and the tomatoes are well cooled.’
    • ‘A member of the ginger family, turmeric treats mild osteoarthritis pain and inflammation.’
    • ‘Blend the flours, crushed spices and turmeric powder.’
    • ‘Indian food is prepared with a variety of spices, including cumin, turmeric, chili powder, ginger, and garlic.’
    • ‘Spices such as cumin, turmeric, and chilli powder are common with Asian Indian cuisine.’
    • ‘Add the potatoes, salt, chillies, chilli powder and turmeric.’
  • 2The Asian plant from which turmeric is obtained.

    Curcuma longa, family Zingiberaceae

    • ‘The major herbs grown for use by the ministry this season include oregano, calendula, Japanese mint, German chamomile, aloe vera, eucalyptus, banana leaves and turmeric.’
    • ‘The colors were made naturally from plants such as pandanus and turmeric.’
    • ‘Medicinal herbs made from local herbs in the area such as the turmeric plant relieve such symptoms as itchiness.’
    • ‘The new crop of turmeric has started arriving in the market.’


Late Middle English (earlier as tarmaret): perhaps from French terre mérite and modern Latin terra merita, literally ‘deserving earth’, or perhaps an alteration of an oriental word.