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[hen-uh-kin] /ˈhɛn ə kɪn/
the fiber of an agave, Agave fourcroydes, of Yucatán, used for making ropes, coarse fabrics, etc.
Also, henequin.
1875-80; < American Spanish henequén, earlier geniquén, jeniquén, heniquén, perhaps < an indigenous language of Hispaniola, where the word was allegedly first used Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for henequin


an agave plant, Agave fourcroydes, that is native to Yucatán
the fibre of this plant, used in making rope, twine, and coarse fabrics
Word Origin
C19: from American Spanish henequén, probably of Taino origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Encyclopedia Article for henequin


(Agave fourcroydes), plant of the family agave (Agavaceae) and its fibre, third in importance among the leaf fibre (q.v.) group. Varieties of A. fourcroydes include ixtli, longifolia, minima, and rigida. The henequen plant is native to Mexico, where it has been a source of textile fibre since pre-Columbian times. It was introduced to Cuba in the 19th century, becoming the country's chief fibre crop by the 1920s. The fibre is sometimes referred to as Yucatan, or Cuban, sisal.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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