Old English ryge, from Proto-Germanic *ruig (cf. Old Saxon roggo, Old Norse rugr, Old Frisian rogga, Middle Dutch rogghe, Old High German rocko, German Roggen), related to or from Balto-Slavic words (cf. Old Church Slavonic ruži, Russian rozh' "rye;" Lithuanian rugys "grain of rye," plural rugiai), from a European PIE root *wrughyo- "rye." Meaning "whiskey" (made from rye) first attested 1835. Rye bread attested from mid-15c.
=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.
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.