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sargasso

[sahr-gas-oh]
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noun, plural sar·gas·sos.
  1. a gulfweed.

Origin of sargasso

1590–1600; < Portuguese, perhaps special use of sargaço rockrose < Latin salicastrum, equivalent to salic- (stem of salix) willow + -astrum, neuter of -aster -aster1
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British Dictionary definitions for sargasso

sargasso

sargasso weed

noun plural -sos
  1. another name for gulfweed, sargassum

Word Origin

C16: from Portuguese sargaço, of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for sargasso

n.

"seaweed," 1590s, from Portuguese sargasso "seaweed," perhaps from sarga, a type of grape (on this theory, the sea plant was so called from its berry-like air sacs), or from Latin sargus, a kind of fish found in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic, from Greek sargos. Sargasso Sea attested from 1819.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper