ETYM Old Eng. whete, AS. hwaete; akin to OS. hwęti, Dutch weit, German weizen, Old High Germ. weizzi, Icel. hveiti, Swed. hvete, Dan. hvede, Goth. hwaiteis, and Eng. white. Related to White.
1. Annual or biennial grass having erect flower spikes and light brown grains; SYN. corn.
2. Grains of common wheat; sometimes cooked whole or cracked as cereal; usually ground into flour; SYN. wheat berry.
Cereal plant derived from the wild Triticum, a grass native to the Middle East. It is the chief cereal used in breadmaking and is widely cultivated in temperate climates suited to its growth. Wheat is killed by frost, and damp renders the grain soft, so warm, dry regions produce the most valuable grain.
The main wheat-producing areas of the world are the Ukraine, the prairie states of the US, the Punjab in India, the prairie provinces of Canada, parts of France, Poland, S Germany, Italy, Argentina, and SE Australia. Flour is milled from the endosperm; the coatings of the grain produce bran. Semolina is also prepared from wheat; it is a by-product from the manufacture of fine flour.