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[sahy-suh l, sis-uh l] /ˈsaɪ səl, ˈsɪs əl/
Also called sisal hemp. a fiber yielded by an agave, Agave sisalana, of Yucatán, used for making rope, rugs, etc.
the plant itself.
Origin of sisal
1835-45; short for Sisal grass or hemp, named after Sisal, port in Yucatán Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sisal
  • It's an old sisal plantation turned small luxury hotel, set amongst a profusion of palms and bougainvillea.
  • She started with white walls and sisal rugs for a calm backdrop.
  • The cactus grown on these plantations produced sisal, which was vital to the manufacture of rope and burlap.
  • Fibers from the plant help make sisal, used in the manufacture of burlap and rope.
  • The rope is sisal, the technical name for baling twine.
  • sisal has long been the default choice for summer floors.
  • sisal was used to make twine, a product needed by every farmer.
  • The work plan will describe the steps required to remove the sisal wall covering.
British Dictionary definitions for sisal


a Mexican agave plant, Agave sisalana, cultivated for its large fleshy leaves, which yield a stiff fibre used for making rope
the fibre of this plant
any of the fibres of certain similar or related plants
Also called sisal hemp
Word Origin
C19: from Mexican Spanish, named after Sisal, a port in Yucatán, Mexico
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 sisal

1883, short for Sisal hemp or grass (1843), from Sisal, port in Yucatan, from which the rope-making fiber was exported.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sisal in Technology
(Streams and Iteration in a Single Assignment Language) A general-purpose single assignment functional programming language with strict semantics, automatic parallelisation and efficient arrays. Outputs a dataflow graph in IF1 (Intermediary Form 1). Derived from VAL, adds recursion and finite streams. Pascal-like syntax. Designed to be a common high-level language for numerical programs on a variety of multiprocessors.
Implementations exist for Cray X-MP, Cray Y-MP, Cray-2, Sequent, Encore Alliant, dataflow architectures, transputers and systolic arrays.
Defined in 1983 by James McGraw et al, Manchester University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Colorado State University and DEC. Revised in 1985. First compiled implementation in 1986. Performance superior to C and competitive with Fortran, combined with efficient and automatic parallelisation.
Not to be confused with SASL.
E-mail: John Feo , Rod Oldehoeft
David C. Cann has written an Optimising SISAL Compiler ( (OSC) which attempts to make efficient use of parallel processors such as Crays.
Latest version: 12.0, SISAL 1.2.
["A Report on the SISAL Language Project", J.T. Feo et al, J Parallel and Distrib Computing 10(4):349-366 (Dec 1990)].
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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