Definition of tobacco in English:

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Pronunciation: /təˈbakō/

noun (plural tobaccos)

1A preparation of the nicotine-rich leaves of an American plant, which are cured by a process of drying and fermentation for smoking or chewing.
Example sentences
  • This can happen due to variety of reasons, the commonest being smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • The socioeconomic differences are more marked for smoking than for chewing tobacco.
  • One of the major problems with smoking and chewing tobacco has to do with the chemical nicotine.
2 (also tobacco plant) The plant of the nightshade family that yields tobacco, native to tropical America. It is widely cultivated in warm regions, especially in the US and China.
  • Nicotiana tabacum, family Solanaceae. See also nicotiana.
Example sentences
  • The integral mana of the tobacco plant has been abused as have the Native Americans from whom the plant was taken.
  • Both tobacco, as a model plant species, and alfalfa have been transformed with the assembled constructs.
  • While the tobacco plant is indigenous to North America, it is now commercially cultivated and naturalized in most sub tropical countries.


Mid 16th century: from Spanish tabaco.

  • This is from Spanish tabaco, but where it came from before that is confused. It is said to be either from a Carib word for a tobacco pipe or from a Taino word for a primitive cigar. However, there is also an Arabic word tabbaq used for various herbs, and it is possible that Spaniards, influenced as they were by Moorish culture, used this old Arabic word for the new herb, or blended the different strands together.

Words that rhyme with tobacco

tacho, taco, wacko

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: to·bac·co

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