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[gwah-noh] /ˈgwɑ noʊ/
a natural manure composed chiefly of the excrement of sea birds, found especially on islands near the Peruvian coast.
any similar substance, as an artificial fertilizer made from fish.
Origin of guano
1595-1605; < Spanish: fertilizer, dung; American Spanish huano dung < Quechua wanu dung for fuel, fertilizer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for guano


noun (pl) -nos
  1. the dried excrement of fish-eating sea birds, deposited in rocky coastal regions of South America: contains the urates, oxalates, and phosphates of ammonium and calcium; used as a fertilizer
  2. the accumulated droppings of bats and seals
any similar but artificial substance used as a fertilizer
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish, from Quechuan huano dung
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for guano

c.1600, from Spanish guano "dung," especially of sea-birds on islands off Peru, from Quechua huanu "dung."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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guano in Science
  1. A substance composed chiefly of the dung of sea birds or bats, accumulated along certain coastal areas or in caves and used as fertilizer.

  2. Any of various similar substances, such as a fertilizer prepared from ground fish parts.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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