A shrubby tropical American plant (Manihot esculenta) widely grown for its large, tuberous, starchy roots.
The root of this plant, eaten as a staple food in the tropics only after leaching and drying to remove cyanide. Cassava starch is also the source of tapioca.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.