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[bast] /bæst/
Botany. phloem.
Also called bast fiber. any of several strong, woody fibers, as flax, hemp, ramie, or jute, obtained from phloem tissue and used in the manufacture of woven goods and cordage.
Origin of bast
before 900; Middle English; Old English bæst; cognate with Dutch, German, Old Norse bast; perhaps ultimately cognate with Latin fascis bundle. See bass3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bast
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Historical Examples
  • Next day, just as they were dressed to go out to dinner, a Mr. bast called.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • "I don't call that fair," said Mr. bast, going scarlet and handsome.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Money: give Mr. bast money, and don't bother about his ideals.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • She heard no sound, and Mr. bast's topper was missing from the hall.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Now that the first shock was over, she saw that there was every reason to premise a Mrs. bast.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for bast


Also called bass. fibrous material obtained from the phloem of jute, hemp, flax, lime, etc, used for making rope, matting, etc
(botany) another name for phloem
Word Origin
Old English bæst; related to Old Norse, Middle High German bast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bast

"inner bark of the linden tree," Old English bæst, a general Germanic word (cf. Old Norse, Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German bast), of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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