corn


corn
corn1
/kawrn/, n.
1. Also called Indian corn; esp. technical and Brit., maize. a tall cereal plant, Zea mays, cultivated in many varieties, having a jointed, solid stem and bearing the grain, seeds, or kernels on large ears.
2. the grain, seeds, or kernels of this plant, used for human food or for fodder.
3. the ears of this plant.
4. the edible seed of certain other cereal plants, esp. wheat in England and oats in Scotland.
5. the plants themselves.
6. sweet corn.
7. See corn whiskey.
8. Skiing. See corn snow.
9. Informal. old-fashioned, trite, or mawkishly sentimental material, as a joke, a story, or music.
v.t.
10. to preserve and season with salt in grains.
11. to preserve and season with brine.
12. to granulate, as gunpowder.
13. to plant (land) with corn.
14. to feed with corn.
[bef. 900; ME, OE; c. D koren, ON korn, G Korn, Goth kaúrn; akin to L granum GRAIN, Russ zernó]
corn2
/kawrn/, n. Pathol.
a horny induration or callosity of the epidermis, usually with a central core, formed esp. on the toes or feet and caused by undue pressure or friction.
[1375-1425; late ME corne < AF, MF < L cornu HORN, hence a horny hardening of the cuticle. See CORNU]

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I

Cereal plant (Zea mays) of the family Poaceae (or Gramineae).

It originated in the New World and has been introduced globally. American Indians taught colonists to grow corn, including some varieties of yellow corn that are still popular as food, as well as varieties with red, blue, pink, and black kernels, often banded, spotted, or striped, that today are regarded as ornamental and in the U.S. are called Indian corn. The tall, annual grass has a stout, erect, solid stem and large narrow leaves with wavy margins. Corn is used as livestock feed, as human food, and as raw material in industry. Though it is a major food in many parts of the world, it is inferior to other cereals in nutritional value. Inedible parts of the plant are used in industry
stalks for paper and wallboard; husks for filling material; cobs for fuel, to make charcoal, and in the preparation of industrial solvents. Corn husks also have a long history of use in the folk arts for objects such as woven amulets and corn-husk dolls. Corn is one of the most widely distributed of the world's food plants. In the U.S. corn is the most important crop, but slightly more acres of soybeans are planted.
II
(as used in expressions)
Anti Corn Law League

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callus
      in skin disease, horny thickening of the skin on the foot or toes, produced by repeated friction or pressure. Extensive proliferation of the stratum corneum, the horny layer of the epidermis, results in a conical callus with its broad end on the surface and its point directed inward; the dense centre of this cone presses on sensory nerves, causing pain when direct pressure is applied. The corn's surface is usually hard and shiny, but corns between the toes may be soft and soggy from perspiration.

      Corns are treated by applying plasters of salicylic or dichloroacetic acid to the site after the core has been removed and the callus pared. They are likely to recur, however, unless the source of friction or pressure is eliminated by a change in footwear or in walking habits. Long-lasting corns may produce a bony spur that must be removed surgically.

plant
also called  Indian corn , or  maize 

      in agriculture, cereal plant of the tribe Maydeae of the grass family Gramineae (Poaceae), originating in the Americas, and its edible grain.

      Since its introduction into Europe by Columbus and other explorers, corn has spread to all areas of the world suitable to its cultivation. Indians in the Americas taught colonists to grow the indigenous grains, which included some varieties of yellow corn that are still popular as food as well as varieties with red, blue, pink, and black kernels, often banded, spotted, or striped, that are regarded in modern times as ornamental. In the United States these variegated strains, traditionally used in autumn harvest decorations, are called Indian corn. In Great Britain, all maize grain is called Indian corn, in allusion to its origins.

 The tall, annual grass has a stout, erect, solid stem and large narrow leaves with wavy margins, spaced alternately on opposite sides of the stem. Staminate (male) flowers are borne on the tassel terminating the main axis of the stem. The pistillate inflorescence, maturing to become the ear, is a spike with a thickened axis, bearing paired spikelets in longitudinal rows, each row of paired spikelets normally producing two rows of grain. The spike is enclosed by modified leaves, called shucks or husks.

      Commercial classifications, based mainly on kernel texture, include dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, sweet corn, and popcorn. Dent corn is characterized by a depression in the crown of the kernel caused by unequal drying of the hard and soft starch making up the kernel. Flint corn, containing little soft starch, has no depression. Flour corn, composed largely of soft starch, has soft, mealy, easily ground kernels. Sweet corn has wrinkled, translucent seeds; the plant sugar is not converted to starch as in other types. popcorn, an extreme type of flint corn characterized by small, hard kernels, is devoid of soft starch, and heating causes the moisture in the cells to expand, making the kernels explode. Improvements in corn have resulted from hybridization, based on crossbreeding of superior inbred strains.

 Corn is used as livestock feed, as human food, and as raw material in industry. Although it is a major food in many parts of the world, it is inferior to other cereals in nutritional value. Its protein is of poor quality, and it is deficient in niacin. Diets in which it predominates often result in pellagra (niacin-deficiency disease). Its gluten (elastic protein) is of comparatively poor quality, and it is not used to produce leavened bread. It is widely used, however, in Latin-American cuisine to make masa, a kind of dough used in such staple foods as tortillas (tortilla), the round, thin cakes used as bread. In the United States, corn is boiled or roasted on the cob, creamed, converted into hominy (hulled kernels) or meal, and cooked in corn puddings, mush, polenta, griddle cakes, corn bread, and scrapple. It is also used for popcorn, confections, and various manufactured cereal preparations.

 Inedible parts of the corn plant are used in industry. Stalks are made into paper and wallboard; husks are used as filling material; cobs are used for fuel, to make charcoal, and in the preparation of industrial solvents. Corn grain is processed by wet milling, in which the grain is soaked in a dilute solution of sulfurous acid; by dry milling, in which the corn is exposed to a water spray or steam; and by fermentation, in which cornstarches are changed to sugars, and yeast is employed to convert the sugars into alcohol. Corn husks also have a long history of use in the folk arts for objects such as woven amulets and corn-husk dolls.

 Corn is one of the most widely distributed of the world's food plants; it is exceeded in acreage planted only by wheat. It is grown from 58° N latitude in Canada and Russia to 40° S latitude in South America, with a corn crop maturing somewhere in the world every month of the year. It is the most important crop in the United States, which produces about half the world's total. Nearly two-fifths of the U.S. crop is exported annually. China ranks second in average production, followed by Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Corn — Corn, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Corned} (k?rnd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Corning}.] 1. To preserve and season with salt in grains; to sprinkle with salt; to cure by salting; now, specifically, to salt slightly in brine or otherwise; as, to corn beef; to corn …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • corn — S3 [ko:n US ko:rn] n [Sense: 1 2; Origin: Old English] [Sense: 3; Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: corne horn, corner ; CORNER1] 1.) [U] BrE plants such as wheat, ↑barley …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Corn — (k[^o]rn), n. [L. cornu horn: cf. F. corne horn, hornlike excrescence. See {Horn}.] A thickening of the epidermis at some point, esp. on the toes, by friction or pressure. It is usually painful and troublesome. [1913 Webster] Welcome, gentlemen!… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • corn — [ kɔrn ] noun *** 1. ) uncount a tall plant with large yellow seeds on a COB (=thick piece of stem). British usually maize a ) the seeds of a corn plant that are cooked as food or fed to animals 2. ) count a small piece of hard skin on your foot… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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