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a palmetto (Sabal palmetto)


From Spanish palmito, diminutive of palma (palm tree), from Latin palma.


palmetto (plural palmettos or palmettoes)

  1. Any of various fan palms of the family Arecaceae, especially Sabal palmetto or the saw palmetto, Serenoa repens. [from 16th c.]
    • 1727, James Thomson, “Summer”, in The Seasons, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, and sold by Thomas Cadell, [], published 1768, OCLC 642619686:
      Broad o'er my Head the verdant Cedar wave, / And high Palmetos lift their graceful Shade.
    • 1987, Joan Didion, Miami, Granta 2005, p. 13:
      [O]n the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved [] a settlement of considerable interest [] .
  2. A hat made of palmetto leaves.
  3. A native or resident of the US state of South Carolina.

Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (South Carolina native or resident): palmetta (feminine)

Derived terms[edit]