1832, "grass yielding edible grain and cultivated for food," originally an adjective (1818) "having to do with edible grain," from French céréale (16c., "of Ceres;" 18c. in grain sense), from Latin Cerealis "of grain," originally "of Ceres," from Ceres, Italic goddess of agriculture, from PIE *ker-es-, from root *ker- (2) "to grow." The application to breakfast food cereal made from grain is American English, 1899.
updated on October 27, 2017
Dictionary entries near cereal