1 [rahy]
noun Also called rye whiskey (for defs 4, 5).
a widely cultivated cereal grass, Secale cereale, having one-nerved glumes and two- or three-flowered spikelets.
the seeds or grain of this plant, used for making flour and whiskey, and as a livestock feed.
a straight whiskey distilled from a mash containing 51 percent or more rye grain.
Northeastern U.S. and Canada. a blended whiskey.
made with rye grain or flour: rye rolls.

before 900; Middle English; Old English ryge; cognate with Old Norse rūgr; akin to Dutch rogge, German Roggen

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2 [rahy]
a male Gypsy.

1850–55; < Romany rai


a city in SE New York, on Long Island sound.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rye1 (raɪ)
1.  See also wild rye a tall hardy widely cultivated annual grass, Secale cereale, having soft bluish-green leaves, bristly flower spikes, and light brown grain
2.  the grain of this grass, used in making flour and whiskey, and as a livestock food
3.  Also called: rye whiskey whiskey distilled from rye. US whiskey must by law contain not less than 51 per cent rye
4.  (US) short for rye bread
[Old English ryge; related to Old Norse rugr, Old French rogga, Old Saxon roggo]

rye2 (raɪ)
dialect a gentleman
[from Romany rai, from Sanskrit rājan king; see rajah]

Rye (raɪ)
a resort in SE England, in East Sussex: one of the Cinque Ports. Pop: 4195 (2001)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. ryge, from P.Gmc. *ruig (cf. O.S. roggo, O.N. rugr, O.Fris. rogga, M.Du. rogghe, O.H.G. rocko, Ger. Roggen), probably originally from Balto-Slavic (cf. O.C.S. ruzi, Rus. rozhi "rye;" Lith. rugys "grain of rye," pl. rugiai). Meaning "whiskey" first attested 1835.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Rye definition

=Rie, (Heb. kussemeth), found in Ex. 9:32; Isa. 28:25, in all of which the margins of the Authorized and of the Revised Versions have "spelt." This Hebrew word also occurs in Ezek. 4:9, where the Authorized Version has "fitches' (q.v.) and the Revised Version "spelt." This, there can be no doubt, was the Triticum spelta, a species of hard, rough-grained wheat.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


town (parish), Rother district, administrative county of East Sussex, historic county of Sussex, England, on a hill by the River Rother. The community's cobbled streets and timber-framed and Georgian houses attract many tourists. Originally a seaport, Rye was incorporated in 1289 and became a full member of the Cinque Ports (a confederation of English Channel ports) in about 1350. Edward III walled the town, but of the three original 14th-century entrance gates, only Land Gate remains, together with the earlier Ypres Tower (12th century). Buildings of special interest include the Mermaid Inn (1420) and the 18th-century house in which the novelist Henry James spent his later years. From the 15th century the port declined as silting proceeded (the sea is now 2 miles [3 km] away), and the town has grown little outside its medieval perimeter. Pop. (2001) 4,009.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Rye whiskey is the world's great forgotten spirit, distinctive, complex and
The current process for manufacturing it is a rather messy one involving ergot,
  a parasite of rye.
Rye infected with ergot, a toxic fungus, has caused devastating epidemics
  through history.
Each wedge goes into a jar filled with red oak sawdust mixed with rye seed or
  red-oak seed, and the jar is chilled.
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