Definition of tobacco in English:


Line breaks: to|bacco
Pronunciation: /təˈbakəʊ

noun (plural tobaccos)

  • 1 [mass noun] A preparation of the nicotine-rich leaves of an American plant, which are cured by a process of drying and fermentation for smoking or chewing.
    More 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 which yields tobacco, native to tropical America. It is widely cultivated in warm regions, especially in the US and China.
    • Nicotiana tabacum, family Solanaceae
    More 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.
  • 2.1An ornamental plant related to tobacco. See nicotiana.
    More example sentences
    • Night-flying moths are especially keen on ornamental tobacco plants.


mid 16th century: from Spanish tabaco; said to be from a Carib word denoting a tobacco pipe or from a Taino word for a primitive cigar, but perhaps from Arabic.

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