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tobacco plant
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Attested since 1588, a loan from Spanish tabaco. The Spanish word is either from Arabic طَبَاق ‎(ṭabāq, a type of medicinal herb), also طُبَاق ‎(ṭubāq), or from a Taino word meaning "roll of tobacco leaves"[1] or "a pipe for smoking tobacco".[2] The term is thus either an Old World term (of Arabic origin) applied to a New World plant, or a New World word.[3]



tobacco ‎(countable and uncountable, plural tobaccos or tobaccoes)

  1. (uncountable) Any plant of the genus Nicotiana.
  2. (uncountable) Leaves of Nicotiana tabacum and some other species cultivated and harvested to make cigarettes, cigars, snuff, for smoking in pipes or for chewing.
    • 2013 September 7, “Unlucky strike”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8852:
      Tobacco-settlement bonds are a tribute both to the inventiveness of bankers and the childlike impatience of politicians.
  3. (countable) A variety of tobacco.
    Tobaccos from the Connecticut Valley were used for wrapping cigars.


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See also[edit]


  1. ^ Las Casas, 1552 (supports the gloss "roll of tobacco leaves")
  2. ^ Oviedo, 1535 (supports the gloss "pipe for smoking")
  3. ^ tobacco” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).