1. (Science: botany) A grain yielded by a hardy cereal grass (secale cereale), closely allied to wheat; also, the plant itself. Rye constitutes a large portion of the breadstuff used by man.
2. A disease in a hawk.
(Science: botany) Rye grass, Italian rye grass,, any plant of the genus Elymus, tall grasses with much the appearance of rye.
Origin: OE. Rie, reie, AS. Ryge; akin to Icel. Rugr, Sw. Rag, Dan. Rug, D. Rogge, OHG. Rocco, roggo, G. Rocken, roggen, Lith. Rugei, Russ. Roje, and perh. To Gr. 'oryza rice. Cf. Rice.