Definition of tobacco in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A preparation of the nicotine-rich leaves of an American plant, which are cured by a process of drying and fermentation for smoking or chewing.

    • ‘Most of the health risks associated with pot smoking are related to the tobacco its usually smoked with.’
    • ‘He taps the pipe's bowl against his palm, and throws the tobacco out the window before it burns him.’
    • ‘There were three products, cut tobacco for pipes, roll tobacco for chewing and smoking, and snuff.’
    • ‘However the consumption of smoking tobacco is far lower than in any other European country.’
    • ‘Both tobacco and cannabis have a similar range of carcinogenic substances.’
    • ‘With the anti-smoking campaigns the nation acknowledged the dangers of smoking tobacco.’
    • ‘Smokeless tobacco is most commonly used in rural regions but use in urban areas is growing.’
    • ‘Smokeless tobacco comes in two main forms - snuff and chewing tobacco.’
    • ‘Restaurants, pubs, or whoever wants it can apply for a licence which allows the smoking of tobacco on their premises.’
    • ‘The smoking of tobacco should eventually become an activity undertaken only by consenting adults in private.’
    • ‘Cancer of the oral cavity is more common in people who chew tobacco or smoke pipes.’
    • ‘The socioeconomic differences are more marked for smoking than for chewing tobacco.’
    • ‘This can happen due to variety of reasons, the commonest being smoking or chewing tobacco.’
    • ‘That's not true, for medical evidence says that smoking or chewing tobacco can kill people.’
    • ‘These groups are always in favor of raising taxes on tobacco and of banning smoking in public places.’
    • ‘Colonial tobacconists began to ‘advertise’ their tobaccos using the iconography of the plant's origins and political economy.’
    • ‘One of the major problems with smoking and chewing tobacco has to do with the chemical nicotine.’
    • ‘Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco are also associated with an increased risk of developing mouth cancer.’
    • ‘What I do know is that legal smoking of tobacco kills 4,700 New Zealanders a year.’
    • ‘Oral intake of tobacco by chewing also increased the excretion as nicotine can be absorbed from oral mucosa.’
  • 2The plant of the nightshade family which yields tobacco, native to tropical America. It is widely cultivated in warm regions, especially in the US and China.

    • ‘The integral mana of the tobacco plant has been abused as have the Native Americans from whom the plant was taken.’
    • ‘He found it very difficult to sell his rye, his wheat, his barley, his sugar beet, his tobacco and other produce.’
    • ‘Both tobacco, as a model plant species, and alfalfa have been transformed with the assembled constructs.’
    • ‘Several carcinogens are derived from tobacco but also from areca nut.’
    • ‘While the tobacco plant is indigenous to North America, it is now commercially cultivated and naturalized in most sub tropical countries.’
    1. 2.1An ornamental plant related to tobacco.
      • ‘Night-flying moths are especially keen on ornamental tobacco plants.’


Mid 16th century: from Spanish tabaco; said to be from a Carib word denoting a tobacco pipe or from a Taino word for a primitive cigar, but perhaps from Arabic.