One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large herbaceous Asian plant of the banana family, yielding Manila hemp.
Musa textilis, family Musaceae
- ‘A leaf fiber and a member of the banana family, abaca makes an extremely strong pulp.’
- ‘The abaca plant, a type of banana, grows in the Philippines.’
- ‘The principal cash crops are coconuts, bananas, pineapples, sugar, tobacco, and abaca.’
- ‘Important export crops are abaca, copra (dried coconut meat), pineapple, sugar, and tobacco.’
- ‘Instead, traditional exports such as coconut, abaca and sugar have lost markets.’
- 1.1mass noun Manila hemp.
- ‘These Seattle sisters design placemats and table runners out of abaca fiber.’
- ‘It's one of the benefits of using the abaca rather than the more-conventional glass fibers.’
- ‘He created the works by dipping pieces of wire mesh into pulp made of abaca (banana fiber) and then painting the frame in lively watercolors.’
- ‘The shade papers are made from silk, banana, Kozo, mulberry, mango and abaca fibres.’
- ‘The Japanese defence ministry commandeered the country's supply of abaca (hemp).’
Mid 18th century: via French and Spanish from Tagalog abaká.
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