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palmetto

[pal-met-oh, pahl-, pah-met-oh] /pælˈmɛt oʊ, pɑl-, pɑˈmɛt oʊ/
noun, plural palmettos, palmettoes.
1.
any of various palms having fan-shaped leaves, as of the genera Sabal, Serenoa, and Thrinax.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65; earlier palmito < Spanish, diminutive of palma palm2; -etto by association with -ette
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for palmetto
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for palmetto

palmetto

/pælˈmɛtəʊ/
noun (pl) -tos, -toes
1.
any of several small chiefly tropical fan palms, esp any of the genus Sabal, of the southeastern US See also cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto
2.
any of various other fan palms such as palms of the genera Serenoa, Thrinax, and Chamaerops
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish palmito a little palm²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for palmetto
n.

1580s, from Spanish palmito "dwarf fan palm tree," diminutive of palma "palm tree," from Latin palma (see palm (n.2)). The suffix was subsequently Italianized. The Palmetto Flag was an emblem of South Carolina after secession (1860); the state was called Palmetto State from at least 1837.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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