1. A pasta of North African origin made of semolina or other grains, formed into small pellets and usually steamed.
2. A North African dish consisting of this pasta served with stewed vegetables or meat.
[French, from Arabic kuskus, from kaskasa, to pulverize; see kšš in Semitic roots.]
(click for a larger image)couscous
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.