a. Any of numerous chiefly tropical vines of the genus Dioscorea, many of which have edible tuberous roots.
b. The starchy root of any of these plants, used in the tropics as food.
2. See sweet potato.
[Portuguese inhame or obsolete Spanish igname, iñame, both from Portuguese and English Creole nyam, to eat, of West African origin; Wolof ñam, food, to eat, or Bambara ñambu, manioc.]
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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.