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2017 Word of the Year

bear grass

noun
1.
Also called elk grass. a tall, western North American plant, Xerophyllum tenax, of the lily family, having narrow leaves and a dense, broad cluster of tiny white flowers.
2.
any of several other plants having linear, grasslike leaves, as those of the genera Nolina and Dasylirion.
Origin of bear grass
1740-1750
An Americanism dating back to 1740-50
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bear grass
Historical Examples
  • At Louisville barely could boats be pulled in to the bear grass.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye
  • They are ordinarily used in connection with the bear grass (Xerophyllum).

    California Athabascan Groups Martin A. Baumhoff
  • Ant-hills, the south sides of which bear grass, the northern whortle-berries.

    Lachesis Lapponica Carl von Linn
  • The bear grass is one of the most characteristic plants of Glacier.

    Glacier National Park [Montana] United States Dept. of the Interior
  • Floyd's fort on the bear grass became a rendezvous; the little harbour an anchorage for watercraft.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye
  • Maloney, lying snugly in the bear grass beside the track, would not be informed as to the arrangement.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
  • Sisal hemp, which I found much like our yucca or "bear grass," is but little grown.

  • Dawn found them high in the range, in a little canyon, sweet with a tiny spring about which grew mesquite and bear grass.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • They also Cover their heads from the rain Sometimes with a common water cup or basket made of Cedar bark and bear grass.

    The Journals of Lewis and Clark Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
  • The man crouched in the bear grass could tell that Gabriel was in high good-humor.

    Steve Yeager William MacLeod Raine

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6
7
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