noun, plural bam·boos.
- any of the woody or treelike tropical and semitropical grasses of the genera Bambusa, Phyllostachys, Dendrocalamus, and allied genera, having woody, usually hollow stems with stalked blades and flowering only after years of growth.
- the stem of such a plant, used as a building material and for making furniture, poles, etc.
- any tall treelike tropical or semitropical fast-growing grass of the genus Bambusa, having hollow woody-walled stems with ringed joints and edible young shoots (bamboo shoots)
- the stem of any of these plants, used for building, poles, and furniture
- any of various bamboo-like grasses of the genera Arundinaria, Phyllostachys or Dendrocalamus
- (modifier) made of bambooa bamboo fence
1590s, from Dutch bamboe, from Portuguese bambu, earlier mambu (16c.), probably from Malay samambu, though some suspect this is itself an imported word.