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[si-gahr] /sɪˈgɑr/
a more or less cylindrical roll of tobacco cured for smoking, of any of various lengths, thicknesses, degrees of straightness, etc., usually wrapped in a tobacco leaf.
no cigar, Informal. not being a winning or successful effort, as if not good enough to earn a cigar as a prize:
He made a good try at fielding the ball, but no cigar.
1625-35; < Spanish cigarro
Related forms
cigarless, adjective
cigarlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cigar
  • Tightly roll up layers away from you into a short thick cigar.
  • He is standing before a firing squad with a cigar clamped between his teeth and not smiling, exactly, but smirking.
  • The game allows you to choose between smoking a cigarette, a cigar and a pipe.
  • The crowds dispersed, leaving behind cigar stubs and handbills and the smells of sweat and whiskey.
  • Amid the cigar smoke and snifters that followed its directors' dinners, an idea formed.
  • His father ran a gambling ring outside the back of a cigar shop.
  • When she died they discovered round her neck a sachet containing half a cigar.
  • Whether a cigar is mild, medium, or full bodied does not correlate with quality.
British Dictionary definitions for cigar


a cylindrical roll of cured tobacco leaves, for smoking
Word Origin
C18: from Spanish cigarro, perhaps from Mayan sicar to smoke
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 cigar

1730, from Spanish cigarro (source also of French cigare), probably from Maya sicar "to smoke rolled tobacco leaves," from si'c "tobacco;" or from or influenced by Spanish cigarra "grasshopper, cicada" (on resemblance of shape), from Vulgar Latin *cicala (source also of French cigale, Italian cigala). Cigar-box is from 1819; cigar-store from 1839; the wooden cigar-store Indian is from 1879, American English, but wooden images of feathered Indians or Negroes are mentioned outside tobacconists' shops in England by 1852, and are said to have been in earlier use on the Continent.

Blackamoors and other dark-skinned foreigners have always possessed considerable attractions as signs for tobacconists, and sometimes also for public-houses. Negroes, with feathered headdresses and kilts, smoking pipes, are to be seen outside tobacco shops on the Continent, as well as in England. [Jacob Larwood and John Camden Hotten, "The History of Signboards From the Earliest Times to the Present Day," London, 1867]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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