Definition of palmetto in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpä(l)ˈmedō/

noun (plural palmettos)

Image of palmetto
A fan palm, especially one of a number occurring from the southern US to northern South America.
  • Sabal and other genera, family Palmae: several species, in particular the cabbage palmetto (S. palmetto), which is the state tree of Florida (where it is better known as the sabal palm) and South Carolina.
Example sentences
  • Winding roads are bordered by palmettos, crape myrtle and live oaks draped with Spanish moss.
  • The young marsh rabbit has made it to the far bank, a knee-high jungle of ragged palmettos like miniature palm trees.
  • We were allowed to linger over coffee and admire the cypress trees and palmettos in the Sipsey swamp area between Tuscaloosa and Meridian.


Mid 16th century: from Spanish palmito, literally 'small palm', diminutive of palma, assimilated to Italian words ending in -etto.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pal·met·to

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