noun, plural bamboos.
any of the woody or treelike tropical and semitropical grasses of the genera Bambusa, Phyllostachys, Dendrocalamus, and allied genera, having woody, usually hollow stems with stalked blades and flowering only after years of growth.
the stem of such a plant, used as a building material and for making furniture, poles, etc.

1590–1600; spelling variant of earlier bambu < Malay, apparently < Dravidian; compare Kannada bambu, bombu a large, hollow bam-boo (or directly < Dravidian); replacing bambus < Dutch bamboes; compare Neo-Latin bambūsa Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bamboo (bæmˈbuː)
1.  any tall treelike tropical or semitropical fast-growing grass of the genus Bambusa, having hollow woody-walled stems with ringed joints and edible young shoots (bamboo shoots)
2.  the stem of any of these plants, used for building, poles, and furniture
3.  any of various bamboo-like grasses of the genera Arundinaria, Phyllostachys or Dendrocalamus
4.  (modifier) made of bamboo: a bamboo fence
[C16: probably from Malay bambu]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1590s, from Du. bamboe, from Port. bambu, earlier mambu (16c.), probably from Malay samambu, though some suspect this is itself an imported word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The unique pattern on the sheets is created when they are dried on bamboo trays.
The floors are reclaimed bamboo, and the workstations are made of a sustainable
  washed oak.
Towering bamboo plants block any glimpse of what lies up above.
Bamboo is being lashed together with colorful rope by a merry band of climbers.
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