kudzu

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English[edit]

Kudzu covering several trees in Atlanta in the United States.
lumps of kudzu powder

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Japanese クズ (, kuzu). The spelling kudzu (instead of kuzu) is due to historical transliteration methods of Japanese into English (compare adzuki).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

kudzu (usually uncountable, plural kudzus)

  1. An Asian vine (several species in the genus Pueraria, but mostly Pueraria montans var. lobata, syn. Pueraria lobata in the US), grown as a root starch, and which is a notorious invasive weed in the United States.
    Synonyms: Japanese arrowroot, mile-a-minute
    • 2007 November 1, Jeff Goodell, “James Lovelock, the Prophet”, in Rolling Stone[1]:
      By 2020, droughts and other extreme weather will be commonplace. By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle.
    • 2011 August 31, Ashley Dawson, “Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor: An Interview with Rob Nixon”, in Social Text[2]:
      Walled off communities, private jets, private security details are spreading like kudzu around the world.
    • 2013 September 10, Michiko Kakutani, “A Calamity Tailor-Made for Internet Conspiracy Theories”, in New York Times[3]:
      All the author’s familiar trademarks are here: [] shaggy-dog plotlines sprouting everywhere, like kudzu; []
  2. (cooking, medicine) A starch extracted from the root that is used in traditional East Asian medicine and cuisine.
    Synonym: kudzu powder
    • 1989 November, Drew DeSilver; Jan Gahala, “What is that stuff?”, in Vegetarian Times, ISSN 0164-8497, page 43:
      Kudzu is available in natural food stores and Oriental markets; it is often sold in lumps that must be crushed in a mortar before measuring.
    • 2009, Annemarie Colbin, Whole-food Guide to Strong Bones, New Harbinger Publications, →ISBN, page 233:
      Kudzu, a starch extracted from the root of the kudzu plant, acts similarly to cornstarch or arrowroot but is preferable for bone health because it contains some calcium.

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Further reading[edit]