Also called Indian hemp, marijuana. a tall, coarse plant, Cannabis sativa, that is native to Asia but naturalized or cultivated in many parts of the world and is the source of a valuable fiber as well as drugs such as marijuana and hashish. Compare cannabis.
the tough fiber of this plant, used for making rope, coarse fabric, etc.
any of various plants resembling hemp.
any of various fibers similar to hemp.
a narcotic drug, as marijuana or hashish, prepared from the hemp plant.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English henep, hænep; cognate with German Hanf, Greek kánnabis

hemplike, adjective
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hemp (hɛmp)
1.  See also Indian hemp cannabis, Also called: marijuana an annual strong-smelling Asian plant, Cannabis sativa, having tough fibres, deeply lobed leaves, and small greenish flowers: family Cannabidaeceae
2.  the fibre of this plant, used to make canvas, rope, etc
3.  bhang cannabis hashish See marijuana any of several narcotic drugs obtained from some varieties of this plant, esp from Indian hemp
[Old English hænep; related to Old Norse hampr, Old High German hanaf, Greek kannabis, Dutch hennep]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hænep, from P.Gmc. *hanapiz (cf. O.S. hanap, O.N. hampr, O.H.G. hanaf, Ger. Hanf), probably a very early Gmc. borrowing of the same Scythian word that became Gk. kannabis (see cannabis). Slang sense of "marijuana" dates from 1940s; though scientific use for the
narcotic derived from hemp dates to 1870.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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