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[ab-uh-kah, ah-buh-] /ˌæb əˈkɑ, ˌɑ bə-/
a Philippine plant, Musa textilis.
the fiber of this plant, used in making rope, fabrics, etc.
1810-20; < Spanish < Tagalog abaká Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abaca
  • However, this has also been a period where tobacco and abaca production improved.
  • abaca fiber is the leading raw material for export-oriented handicrafts and is also an input to the pulp and paper industries.
British Dictionary definitions for abaca


a Philippine plant, Musa textilis, related to the banana: family Musaceae. Its leafstalks are the source of Manila hemp
another name for Manila hemp
Word Origin
via Spanish from Tagalog abaká
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for abaca

Manila hemp

plant of the family Musaceae, and its fibre, which is second in importance among the leaf fibre group. Abaca fibre, unlike most other leaf fibres, is obtained from the plant leaf stalks (petioles). Although sometimes known as Manila hemp, Cebu hemp, or Davao hemp, the abaca plant is not related to true hemp.

Learn more about Manila hemp with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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