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tobacco

[tuh-bak-oh] /təˈbæk oʊ/
noun, plural tobaccos, tobaccoes.
1.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Nicotiana, of the nightshade family, especially one of those species, as N. tabacum, whose leaves are prepared for smoking or chewing or as snuff.
2.
the prepared leaves, as used in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
3.
any product or products made from such leaves.
4.
any of various similar plants of other genera.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Spanish tabaco, perhaps < Arawak: a pipe for smoking the plant, or roll of leaves smoked, or the plant
Related forms
tobaccoless, adjective
antitobacco, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for tobacco
  • He apparently just wants to relax with some drinking and tobacco smoking.
  • In some lands it is profitable to grow grain, potatoes, sugar beet, cotton and tobacco.
  • The bowls of tobacco pipes are commonly made of briar, corncob, meerschaum, and clay.
  • Metal metal is an uncommon material for making tobacco pipes, but they are not unknown.
  • This cake is a mixture of ash, unburned tobacco, oils, sugars, and other residue.
  • Native americans smoked tobacco in pipes long before the arrival of europeans.
  • The walls of the room are oak veneer stained a soft tobacco brown.
  • Small sacrifices could also be given to orcas tobacco was strewn into the sea for them.
  • The chief articles of trade are cloth, livestock, wool, cotton, tobacco, and grain.
  • Popular stimulants like coffee, chocolate, tobacco, and tea also come from plants.
British Dictionary definitions for tobacco

tobacco

/təˈbækəʊ/
noun (pl) -cos, -coes
1.
any of numerous solanaceous plants of the genus Nicotiana, having mildly narcotic properties, tapering hairy leaves, and tubular or funnel-shaped fragrant flowers. The species N. tabacum is cultivated as the chief source of commercial tobacco
2.
the leaves of certain of these plants dried and prepared for snuff, chewing, or smoking
Derived Forms
tobaccoless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish tabaco, perhaps from Taino: leaves rolled for smoking, assumed by the Spaniards to be the name of the plant
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 tobacco
n.

1580s, from Spanish tabaco, in part from an Arawakan (probably Taino) language of the Caribbean, said to mean "a roll of tobacco leaves" (according to Las Casas, 1552) or "a kind of pipe for smoking tobacco" (according to Oviedo, 1535). Scholars of Caribbean languages lean toward Las Casas' explanation. But Spanish tabaco (also Italian tabacco) was a name of medicinal herbs from early 15c., from Arabic tabbaq, attested since 9c. as the name of various herbs. So the word may be a European one transferred to an American plant. The West Indian island of Tobago was said to have been named by Columbus in 1498 from Haitian tambaku "pipe," in reference to the native custom of smoking dried tobacco leaves [Room].

Cultivation in France began 1556 with an importation of seed by Andre Thevet; introduced in Spain 1558 by Francisco Fernandes. Tobacco Road as a mythical place representative of rural Southern U.S. poverty is from the title of Erskine Caldwell's 1932 novel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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