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to·bac·co (tə-băkō)
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n. pl. to·bac·cos or to·bac·coes
1.
a. The tropical American plant Nicotiana tabacum of the nightshade family, widely cultivated for its leaves, which are used primarily for smoking.
b. The leaves of this plant, dried and processed chiefly for use in cigarettes, cigars, or snuff or for smoking in pipes.
2. Any of various other plants of the genus Nicotiana.
3. Products made from these plants.
4. The habit of smoking tobacco: I gave up tobacco.

[Spanish tabaco, probably partly from a Taíno word recorded by a Spanish chronicler as tabago, a tube for inhaling smoke or powdered intoxicating plants, and partly from Old Spanish atabaca, altabaca, a Mediterranean plant (Inula viscosa) having sticky, aromatic leaves widely used in traditional medicine (from Arabic al-ubbāq : al-, the + ubbāq, abbāq, the plant I. viscosa, from Syriac dubāqā, birdlime, elm mucilage used as glue, from dbaq, to cling; akin to Arabic dabiqa and Hebrew dābaq, to cling).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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