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Ginger. The thick root, or rhizome, of a perennial herbaceous plant, Zingiber officinale, that is cultivated in most tropical countries. The spice (q.v.), obtained by drying and grinding the root, has a pleasant aromatic odor and a somewhat pungent and slightly bitter taste. It is used to flavor pies (q.v.), cookies (q.v.), and cakes (q.v.).