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[uh-gah-vee, uh-gey-] /əˈgɑ vi, əˈgeɪ-/
any of numerous American plants belonging to the genus Agave, of the agave family, species of which are cultivated for economic or ornamental purposes: A. arizonica, of central Arizona, is an endangered species.
< New Latin (Linnaeus) < Greek agauḗ, feminine of agauós noble, brilliant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for agave
  • Check out the beautiful cacti, agave, and other desert plants and learn how they thrive in an extreme environment.
  • The stair-stepping shapes found on local buildings, paired with the agave form, create a wave motion.
  • They ate the nutritious heart of the agave and used fibers from its leaves to make rope.
British Dictionary definitions for agave


/əˈɡeɪvɪ; ˈæɡeɪv/
any plant of the genus Agave, native to tropical America, with tall flower stalks rising from a massive, often armed, rosette of thick fleshy leaves: family Agavaceae. Some species are the source of fibres such as sisal or of alcoholic beverages such as pulque and tequila See also century plant
Word Origin
C18: New Latin, from Greek agauē, feminine of agauos illustrious, probably alluding to the height of the plant
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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Word Origin and History for agave

American aloe plant, 1797, from Latin Agave, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at," from gaiein "to rejoice, exult," with intensive prefix a-. The name seems to have been taken generically by botanists, the plant perhaps so called for its "stately" flower stem.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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