wheat (wēt, hwēt)
1. Any of various annual cereal grasses of the genus Triticum of the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia, especially T. aestivum, widely cultivated in temperate regions in many varieties for its commercially important edible grain.
2. The grain of any of these grasses, ground to produce flour used in breads, pasta, and other foods.
[Middle English whete, from Old English hwǣte; see kweit- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.