a. A grass such as wheat, oats, or corn, the starchy grains of which are used as food.
b. The grain of such a grass.
2. Any of several other plants or their edible seeds or fruit, such as buckwheat or certain species of amaranth.
3. A food prepared from any of these plants, especially a breakfast food made from commercially processed grain.
Consisting of or relating to grain or to a plant producing grain.
[From Latin cereālis, of grain, from Cerēs, Ceres; see ker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.