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[kuh-naf] /kəˈnæf/
a tropical plant, Hibiscus cannabinus, of the mallow family, yielding a fiber resembling jute.
the fiber itself, used for cordage and textiles.
Also called deccan hemp, ambary.
1890-95; < Persian kanaf, variant of kanab; cognate with hemp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kenaf
  • Ford says kenaf is a tropical plant that looks similar to bamboo and is related to cotton.
  • Fifty-five percent of dried kenaf stalks will be used to make paper.
  • Integrated kenaf, broiler manure and beef production system.
  • Viscoelastic properties of kenaf bast fiber in relation to stem age.
  • Companies have expressed interest in the combined lint cleaner, which can also be used with flax and kenaf.
British Dictionary definitions for kenaf


another name for ambary
Word Origin
from Persian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for kenaf


((species Hibiscus cannabinus), fast-growing plant of the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae) and its fibre, one of the bast fibre group. It is used mainly as a jute substitute. The plant grows wild in Africa, where the fibre is sometimes known as Guinea hemp, and has been cultivated on the Indian subcontinent, where it is usually known as mesta, or ambari, since prehistoric times.

Learn more about mesta with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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