1[mass noun] A stout fibre obtained from the leaf stalks of a number of South American and African palm trees.
- ‘In addition he exported rubber and piassava.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Piassava is a fibre extracted from a palm tree. It is found in the northeastern part of Brazil.’
- 1.1[count noun]A palm tree producing piassava.
- ‘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.’
- ‘This is the case of the piassava palm (Leopoldinia piassaba), whose fibers were used even in those days to make brooms.’
Mid 19th century: via Portuguese from Tupi piaçába.