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teosinte Line breaks: teo|sinte
Pronunciation: /ˌtiːəʊˈsɪnteɪ/

Definition of teosinte in English:


[mass noun]
A Mexican grass which is grown as fodder and is considered to be one of the parent plants of modern maize.
  • Zea mays subsp. mexicana, family Gramineae
Example sentences
  • For decades plant biologists have been arguing about whether domestic maize is really a descendant of teosinte, a Mexican grass.
  • Consequently, they will help to increase our understanding of the gene-flow process in Mexico and Central America where teosinte and maize populations grow in geographic proximity and flower synchronously.
  • We also examine genetic variation in teosinte for several quantitative traits that differentiate maize and teosinte.


Late 19th century: from French téosinté, from Nahuatl teocintli, apparently from teo:tl 'god' + cintli 'dried ear of maize'.

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