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Alternative forms[edit]


From Portuguese piaçaba, from Tupian.



piassava (countable and uncountable, plural piassavas)

  1. A fibrous product of two Brazilian palm trees (Attalea funifera and Leopoldinia piassaba), formerly used in making brooms and for other purposes.
    • 1893, United States Congressional serial set, page 150:
      Common brushes and brooms made of bristles, rice straw, piassava, and other animal or vegetable stuffs; also mounted with wood or iron, not colored, without polish or varnish:
    • 1909, Bulletin of the International Bureau of the American Republics, page 678:
      In Santa Cruz, for instance, where laborers are scarce and the means of communication bad, the gatherers of piassava are paid at the rate of from 2 to 3 milreis (the milreis is equivalent to about 30 cents) per arroba; [...]. The British syndicate above referred to uses [...] steel cleaves for cutting the piassava into uniform strips;
    • 1914, Daily Consular and Trade Reports, page 972:
      Piassava Industry. At a recent meeting of the West African section of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce a letter was read from the colonial secretary of Gambia inclosing the following report on the development of the piassava industry ...
    • 1951, Foreign Commerce Weekly:
      The revised export-tariff schedule provides for Increased duties on palm kernels, palm oil, ginger, groundnuts, and piassava, and coffee, cocoa, benneseed, and kola nuts were made subject to export duties for the first time.
  2. Either of these two trees.

Derived terms[edit]