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.

    • ‘Add the potatoes, salt, chillies, chilli powder and turmeric.’
    • ‘A member of the ginger family, turmeric treats mild osteoarthritis pain and inflammation.’
    • ‘Cook the bread fruit and potatoes in a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt.’
    • ‘Indian food is prepared with a variety of spices, including cumin, turmeric, chili powder, ginger, and garlic.’
    • ‘American mustard, as applied to hot dogs, is generally very mild and coloured bright yellow with turmeric.’
    • ‘To make the curry powder, combine the ground coriander, cumin, fenugreek, pepper, ginger, paprika and turmeric and mix well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mix in the puha, chilli, turmeric powder, salt and sugar.’
    • ‘Blend the flours, crushed spices and turmeric powder.’
    • ‘The vegetarian curry was very good, made with potatoes, peas, eggplant and squash, and flavoured with turmeric and ginger.’
    • ‘Mix flour, salt, turmeric and curry powder in a large bowl.’
    • ‘Uthira and her family members use turmeric powder as an anti-septic for protecting their skin.’
    • ‘Cooking them with spices such as turmeric, cumin, ginger, asafoetida or garlic will kindle the digestive fire and make them easily digestible.’
    • ‘Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water helps to reduce pain and inflammation in Fibromyalgia.’
    • ‘With the exception of capsicum, garlic, ginger and turmeric, most spices are not available in the United States as standardized extracts.’
    • ‘Add coconut, tomato purée, chilli powder and turmeric to form a sauce.’
    • ‘Spices such as cumin, turmeric, and chilli powder are common with Asian Indian cuisine.’
    • ‘Add the tomatoes, spinach, chilli and turmeric powders and fry till the spinach wilts a bit and the tomatoes are well cooled.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2The Asian plant from which turmeric is obtained.

    Curcuma longa, family Zingiberaceae

    • ‘Medicinal herbs made from local herbs in the area such as the turmeric plant relieve such symptoms as itchiness.’
    • ‘The colors were made naturally from plants such as pandanus and turmeric.’
    • ‘The new crop of turmeric has started arriving in the market.’
    • ‘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.’


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.