1716, J. (John) Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry: Or, the Way of Managing and Improving of Land.:
Rhubarb is of several sorts, which are raised all by Seed, or by parting of the Tops.
2006, Cappy Hall Rearick, Simply Southern Ease: More Humor, Insights and Fun from a Good Old Southern Gal:
"Are you talking homemade rhubarb pie from scratch, with you rolling out the dough instead of using a ready-made pie crust."
2006, L M Dougherty, The Concertmaster: Lure of the Stringed Siren:
I'm thinking about planting a row of rhubarb this year. What do you think? You always used to love my rhubarb bread."
Sense: the dried rhizome and roots of Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale
1744, Alexander Hamilton, A New Account of the East Indies: Giving an Exact and Copious Description of the Situation, Product, Manufactures, Laws, Customs, Religion, Trade, &c. of all the Countries and Islands, which lie between the Cape of Good Hope, and the Island of Japon...In Two Volumes. Volume I. [full title stretches to 108 words]:
On the Mountains of Zensi, near the famous Wall that divides China from Tartary, grows abundance of that useful and valuable Root Rhubarb, whoes Use is so well known in Europe.
2006, Bharat B Aggarwall, Shishir Shishodia (editors), Resveratrol in Health And Disease:
Isolation and characterization of stilbene glucosides from Chinese rhubarb.
2006, John Mann, Murder, Magic and Medicine:
Long before this, the Emperor Shennung (c2700 BC) was recommending the use of rhubarb.
Sense: word repeated softly to emulate background conversation
1992, John Matthias, Reading Old Friends: Essays, Reviews, and Poems on Poetics, 1975-1990:
What he stuffed into the mouths of those National Theatre actors, then, was something intended to open their mouths, slow down their delivery, and make them hear and speak each word as a barbed rebarbative thing of rhubarb syllables.
1992, Brenda Murphy, Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan: A Collaboration in the Theatre:
He also disapproved of the way the “Winchell bit” was being delivered, noting that it didn't come across as a news broadcast because it was lost in “the rhubarb” of the fiesta and that the news commentator did not have the proper air of mystery about him.
2002, Oliver Taplin, Greek Tragedy in Action:
Such business...is often introduced in some kind of ‘dumb show', either in silence or accompanied by music or indecipherable stage noise (‘rhubarb', etc.).
Sense: excited and angry exchange of words (at a sporting event)
1993, Thomas G Aylesworth, Kids' World Almanac of Baseball:
When the pitcher, catcher and umpire get into an argument, baseball anouncers call it a rhubarb. The word comes from a sound effects technique used in early radio dramas.
2003, The Columbian, September 15, 2003:
Bonds, who had been watching the game on television earlier, sprung out of the dugout for an animated rhubarb.
2006, David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game:
Two days later, the ball play resulted in a rhubarb: "The day was so bad and so much labor going on, that we had no exercise, but some ball play — at which some dispute arose among the officers, but was quelled without rising high".
2006, Mary Ann Meyers, Art, Education, & African-American Culture: Albert Barnes and the Science of Philanthropy:
Speaking by telephone from his desert home near Palm Springs, California, he told a reporter in Philadelphia: "I don't want to be around when there's a rhubarb going on.
The umpire will call the runner out, but it will probably create a rhubarb. Rule 7.08 c. At least it did the day umpire Beans Reardon called Charlie Pick of the Cubs out on the play...when the Bruin outfielder responded too physically, Reardon “punched him out.”
1997, James Reston, Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti:
He got into a rhubarb with Elmo Plaskett, the catcher from the other team. Plaskett hauled off and hit Bristol in the face with his catcher's mask.
2005, Larry Dierker, This Ain't Brain Surgery: How to Win the Pennant Without Losing Your Mind:
“I'm the umpire you threw on the ground at Chatsworth back when you were in high school.”...Arguing with umpires is still a part of the attraction in baseball. A good rhubarb offers just a trace of the outrageous behavior that has vaulted the World Wrestling Entertainment into prominence in recent years.
2006, Timothy J. Gay, Tris Speaker: The Rough-And-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend:
Spoke relished confrontations with umpires, never backing down from a rhubarb. Teammates marveled at his capacity to yell so hard his face would turn blue.