\ \ [17] Arrowroot, a tropical American plant with starchy tubers, gets its name by folk etymology, the process whereby an unfamiliar foreign word is reformulated along lines more accessible to the speakers of a language. In this case the word in question was aru-aru, the term used by the Arawak Indians of South America for the plant (meaning literally ‘meal of meals’).
\ \ English-speakers adapted this to arrowroot because the root of the plant was used by the Indians to heal wounds caused by poisoned arrows.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Arrowroot — Ar row*root , n. 1. (Bot.) A white flowered west Indian plant of the genus {Maranta}, esp. {Maranta arundinacea}, now cultivated in many hot countries. Its root yields {arrowroot starch}. It said that the Indians used the roots to neutralize the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • arrowroot — [ar′ōro͞ot΄, ar′ōroot΄, er′ōro͞ot΄, er′ōroot΄] n. [altered, from use as antidote for poisoned arrows < Arawakan aru aru, lit., meal of meals] 1. any of a number of tropical plants of various families with clumplike roots; esp., a West Indian… …   English World dictionary

  • Arrowroot — (engl., spr. arro rūt, »Pfeilwurz«), meist aus knolligen Wurzelstöcken tropischer und subtropischer Pflanzen hergestellte reine Stärkesorten, hauptsächlich das Stärkemehl mehrerer Maranta Arten, besonders M. arundinacea, das als westindisches… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Arrowroot — (engl., spr. ärroruht), Pfeilwurzelmehl, Stärkemehl aus den Wurzelknollen mehrerer trop. Pflanzen, so der westind. Pfeilwurzel, Maranta arundinacea L. (westind. A. oder Marantastärke), von Curcuma angustifolia und leucorrhiza Roxb. (ostind. A.… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Arrowroot — Arrowroot, Pfeilwurzmehl, ist ein aus den Wurzelknollen der Maranta arundinacea bereitetes Stärkmehl, welches aus Westindien bei uns eingeführt wird, und für Kinder zur Bereitung des Kinderbreies besonders empfohlen werden kann, wohl noch mehr… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • arrowroot — (n.) 1690s, from ARROW (Cf. arrow) + ROOT (Cf. root) (n.). So called because it was used to absorb toxins from poison dart wounds …   Etymology dictionary

  • arrowroot — ► NOUN ▪ a plant that yields a fine grained starch used in cookery and medicine. ORIGIN from an Arawak word meaning meal of meals , by association with ARROW(Cf. ↑arrowed) and ROOT(Cf. ↑rootless), the plant s tubers being used to absorb poison… …   English terms dictionary

  • Arrowroot — This article is about the herb. For the cycad, see Florida arrowroot. Arrowroot Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae …   Wikipedia

  • arrowroot — /ar oh rooht , root /, n. 1. a tropical American plant, Maranta arundinacea, the rhizomes of which yield a nutritious starch. 2. the starch itself. 3. any of several other plants yielding a similar starch. 4. the starch of these plants, used in… …   Universalium

  • arrowroot —   Pia.    ♦ Arrowroot starch, pia.    ♦ Process of sweetening arrowroot starch, kūlō pia.    ♦ To place arrowroot in packages, a aho.    ♦ Small arrowroot tubers, mā ili.    ♦ Arrowroot balls, omo omo, pia …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • arrowroot — ar·row·root (ăr’ō ro͞ot′, ro͝ot′) n. 1) a) A starch obtained from the rhizomes of a tropical American perennial herb (Maranta arundinacea). It is used especially in cooking as a thickener. b) The rhizome of this plant, cooked and eaten as a… …   Word Histories

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