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mescal

[me-skal] /mɛˈskæl/
noun
1.
an intoxicating beverage distilled from the fermented juice of certain species of agave.
2.
any agave yielding this spirit.
3.
Also called peyote. either of two species of spineless, dome-shaped cactus, Lophophora williamsii or L. diffusa, of Texas and northern Mexico, yielding the hallucinogen peyote.
Origin of mescal
1695-1705
1695-1705, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish mescal, mezcal, mexcal < Nahuatl mexcalli intoxicant distilled from agave (perhaps equivalent to me(tl) maguey + (i)xcalli something cooked)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for mescal

mescal

/mɛˈskæl/
noun
1.
Also called peyote. a spineless globe-shaped cactus, Lophophora williamsii, of Mexico and the southwestern US. Its button-like tubercles (mescal buttons) contain mescaline and are chewed by certain Indian tribes for their hallucinogenic effects
2.
a colourless alcoholic spirit distilled from the fermented juice of certain agave plants
Word Origin
C19: from American Spanish, from Nahuatl mexcalli the liquor, from metlmaguey + ixcalli stew
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 mescal
n.

"plant of the genus Agave," found in deserts of Mexico and southwestern U.S., especially the American aloe, or maguey plant, 1702, from Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztec) mexcalli "fermented drink made from agave," from metl "agave" + ixcalli "stew." Meaning "intoxicating liquor from fermented juice of the agave" is attested in English from 1828. Also the name of a small desert cactus (peyote) found in northern Mexico and southern Texas (1885).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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