[pal-met-oh, pahl-, pah-met-oh]
noun, plural palmettos, palmettoes.
any of various palms having fan-shaped leaves, as of the genera Sabal, Serenoa, and Thrinax.

1555–65; earlier palmito < Spanish, diminutive of palma palm2; -etto by association with -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
palmetto (pælˈmɛtəʊ)
n , pl -tos, -toes
1.  cabbage palmetto See also saw palmetto any of several small chiefly tropical fan palms, esp any of the genus Sabal, of the southeastern US
2.  any of various other fan palms such as palms of the genera Serenoa, Thrinax, and Chamaerops
[C16: from Spanish palmito a little palm²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1583, from Sp. palmito "dwarf fan palm tree," dim. of palma "palm tree," from L. palma (see palm (2)). The suffix was subsequently Italianized. The Palmetto Flag was an emblem of South Carolina after secession (1860); S.C. called Palmetto State from at least 1837.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Low flames blacken palmetto and gallberry undergrowth, and a few trees smoke.
Yes, there are palmetto bugs, but only rarely do they actually get in our house.
As they pitched their pup tents on the palmetto-fringed lawn, the reality of the situation sank in.
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