Definition of sisal in US English:



  • 1A Mexican agave with large fleshy leaves, cultivated for fiber production.

    Agave sisalana, family Agavaceae

    • ‘Originally hammocks were made from the bark of the hamack tree, later from the sisal plant whose fibres could be softened and woven.’
    • ‘A hot, wet coastal plain rises through thick forest and areas planted with sisal to a warm plateau.’
    • ‘Commercial farming of cotton, pineapples, and sisal has had little success.’
    • ‘He was educated at Rugby School and after this, he managed his father's sisal plantation in the Bahamas for seven years.’
    • ‘Born at Kitwe, he worked on a sisal plantation and rose to become a financial manager.’
    • ‘Other products used are sisal and ficus leaves, as well as discarded cotton, usually from worn cotton sheets from hospitals.’
    • ‘Some commercial agricultural products, such as sisal, coffee, and cotton, are sold.’
    • ‘From 1890, he spent seven years unsuccessfully running his father's sisal plantation in the Bahamas.’
    • ‘The area is so dry that the only crop that grows easily there is a cactus-like plant called sisal, whose fibers can make rope or thread.’
    • ‘His account of migrant workers' lives on colonial sisal plantations is particularly interesting.’
    • ‘Sharply declining world prices for sisal exports delayed or aborted several projects.’
    • ‘Many were recruited to the armed forces, or conscripted to labour on sisal and rubber plantations.’
    1. 1.1 The fiber made from the sisal plant, used especially for ropes or matting.
      • ‘Homegrown sisal fiber rather than coconut fiber is used in the production of our full range of vehicles for the domestic and export markets.’
      • ‘In cultural dances, performers may put on feathered hats and skirts made of sisal strands.’
      • ‘American companies little by little took control of the Mexican supply, making sisal twine cheaper and more reliable than it had been.’
      • ‘A 6 x 7 wire line was six strands of seven wires each, closed in a spiral direction around a fiber core, usually Manila or sisal.’
      • ‘Products made out of biodegradable materials like sisal and areca spathes were also on show at the Town Hall.’
      • ‘He started a carpet factory to weave sisal thread into products that could be sold in global markets.’
      • ‘The delicate fabrics contrast with the coarsely woven sisal rug in the living room.’
      • ‘The floor could be cool polished or varnished wood, with natural fibre rugs or coverings in seagrass, sisal or coir to give warmth.’
      • ‘He had noticed that the thick sisal rope had been cut halfway through with a sharp instrument, probably a knife.’
      • ‘We have a nice couch (not leather but an expensive material) with a homemade sisal scratching post just off the most tempting corner.’
      • ‘She had hung a pair of sunglasses around her neck on a gold chain, and carried an enormous sisal handbag.’
      • ‘Painted in shades of brown and gold, and heavily outlined in black, each twist of sisal may be read as a discrete unit.’
      • ‘If you get a scratching post or even better a cat condo that usually have both wood and wood covered with sisal and carpet, the likelihood that the cat would find a surface to use is very good.’


Mid 19th century: from Sisal, the name of a port in Yucatán, Mexico.