from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several tropical American plants of the genus Maranta, including the arrowroot, having thin, ovate, usually spotted leaves and irregular flowers.
  • noun An edible starch made from these plants.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of monocotyledonous plants of the natural order Zingiberaceœ, type of the tribe Maranteœ.
  • noun [lowercase] A plant of this genus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • proper noun (Bot.) A genus of endogenous plants found in tropical America, and some species also in India. They have tuberous roots containing a large amount of starch, and from one species (Maranta arundinacea, the American arrowroot or obedience plant) arrowroot (arrowroot starch) is obtained. Many kinds are cultivated for ornament.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of numerous herbs of the genus Maranta having tuberous starchy roots and large sheathing leaves


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Bartolomeo Maranta, (died 1571), Italian herbalist.]


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