Definition of hemp in English:

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Pronunciation: /hɛmp/


1 (also Indian hemp) [mass noun] The cannabis plant, especially when grown for fibre.
Example sentences
  • It's part of a long-running battle to get the Government to relax the restrictions on growing hemp for food and fibre.
  • They'd already experimented with less common cereal crops and discovered that hemp, once traditionally grown in the area, thrived in the warm, wet climate of the southwest.
  • The only unfortunate thing is that hemp has to be grown to see its cannabinoid component, and it then needs to be tested to see whether it exceeds 0.3 percent.
1.1The fibre of the cannabis plant, extracted from the stem and used to make rope, strong fabrics, fibreboard, and paper.
Example sentences
  • As a fabric, hemp is sturdy, strong and comfortable.
  • It was damnably uncomfortable, having a lump on one's head the size of a fist and tied with strong hemp rope.
  • Trombly points out that the strong fiber produced by hemp and kenaf blends well with the weaker post-consumer recycled paper.
1.2Used in names of other plants that yield fibre, e.g. Manila hemp.
Example sentences
  • A number of herbs including oleander, adonis, black Indian hemp, black hellebore, lily-of-the-valley, squill, and strophanthus contain an active cardiac glycoside that can potentiate digoxin.
1.3The drug cannabis.
Example sentences
  • According to rules laid down by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, opium, heroin, morphine, hemp, cocaine and other addictive narcotics are banned.
  • Subsequently, the Commission's conclusion was that the physical, moral and mental effects of hemp drugs, if used in moderation, were not adverse.
  • Habit-forming and hard-to-kick addictions such as overindulgence in alcohol, heroin, hemp, Ecstasy, and an almost limitless palette of hard drugs should be avoided like the plague.


Old English henep, hænep, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hennep and German Hanf, also to Greek kannabis.

  • canvas from Late Middle English:

    You can smoke cannabis (late 18th century), or, more legally, make canvas out of its fibre. The versatile cannabis plant, also known as hemp (ultimately from the same root), gives its name to the fabric, as both come from Latin cannabis. To win a race or competition by a canvas is to win it very narrowly. The canvas here is the tapered front end of a racing boat, covered with canvas to keep water out. In the early16th century the verb canvass meant ‘to toss someone in a canvas sheet’, as a punishment or as part of a game. Other early meanings included ‘to beat’ and ‘to criticize severely’. This led on to the idea of discussing an issue, and then to proposing something for discussion. Finally, the word acquired the meaning ‘to seek support’, as in ‘to canvass for votes’ at an election.

Words that rhyme with hemp

kemp, temp

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hemp

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