One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stout fibre obtained from the leaf stalks of a number of South American and African palm trees.
- ‘Birch or beech wood is used for handles and the wooden grips, and horsehair, white fibre or piassava is used for bristles, depending on what the brush is to be used for.’
- ‘In addition he exported rubber and piassava.’
- ‘Piassava is a fibre extracted from a palm tree. It is found in the northeastern part of Brazil.’
- 1.1count noun A palm tree producing piassava.
- ‘This is the case of the piassava palm (Leopoldinia piassaba), whose fibers were used even in those days to make brooms.’
- ‘The natural incidence range of the piassava palm tree is close to the coastal zone (up to 60 km inland) and it is mainly concentrated between 13°S and 17°S.’
- ‘This paper reports on the possible changing sexual expression of piassava palm.’
Mid 19th century: via Portuguese from Tupi piaçába.
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