Definition of ratoon in English:


Pronunciation /rəˈto͞on/ /rəˈtun/


  • A new shoot or sprout springing from the base of a crop plant, especially sugar cane, after cropping.

    ‘Mother pineapple plants produce two types of suckers - ratoons emerge from below the soil; other suckers develop in the leaf axils.’
    • ‘The plantation would provide seed, ratoons (cane striplings), tools, fertilizer, irrigation, and so on, and would pay a stipulated price for delivered cane.’
    sprout, offshoot, scion, sucker, bud, spear, runner, tendril, sprig, cutting

intransitive verb

[no object]
  • 1(of sugar cane) produce ratoons.

    ‘Farmers can also prevent pests and disease build-up in cotton growing by avoiding ratooning.’
    • ‘Hybridizations were made using ratooning plants from the selected individuals in each generation.’
    1. 1.1with object Cut down (a plant) to cause it to produce ratoons.
      as adjective ratooned ‘ratooned plants produce a much earlier crop’
      • ‘The practice of ratooning exploits the perennial tendencies of some land-races and cultivars of sorghum.’


Mid 17th century from Spanish retoño ‘a sprout’.