- any of several plants belonging to the genus Nicotiana, of the nightshade family, especially one of those species, as N. tabacum, whose leaves are prepared for smoking or chewing or as snuff.
- the prepared leaves, as used in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
- any product or products made from such leaves.
- any of various similar plants of other genera.
Origin of tobacco
Examples from the Web for tobacco
You spice it with blues and skiffle music, and pickle it in alcohol and tobacco smoke.The Greatest Rock Voice of All Time Belonged to Joe Cocker
December 23, 2014
In the dense atmosphere of tobacco and conspiracy, one hot topic has been the death penalty.Ukraine Rebels Love Russia, Hate Gays, Threaten Executions
October 25, 2014
My grandfather lived fast and large—he liked his liquor and his tobacco, and he was also an ace gambler.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
His reasoning was twofold, he said: He saw the effects of tobacco both on his father and on the developing world.Why the Rockefellers Rejected Big Oil
September 24, 2014
An AVA is decided, incredibly, not by wine connoisseurs but by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.Napa’s Earthquake Is Not The Only Thing Shaking The Vineyards
August 31, 2014
And now came the planters of Virginia, bringing their crops of tobacco.Earth's Holocaust (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
Chip gurgled again, and drew the tobacco sack shut with his teeth.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Then he said, meekly, "Does your mother object to tobacco smoke, ma'am?"Quaint Courtships
Then with a sigh of satisfaction, he fumbled for his pipe and tobacco, and looked about him.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
For all indulgence in wine and coffee and tobacco you will have a bill to pay.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
- any of numerous solanaceous plants of the genus Nicotiana, having mildly narcotic properties, tapering hairy leaves, and tubular or funnel-shaped fragrant flowers. The species N. tabacum is cultivated as the chief source of commercial tobacco
- the leaves of certain of these plants dried and prepared for snuff, chewing, or smoking
Word Origin and History for tobacco
1580s, from Spanish tabaco, in part from an Arawakan (probably Taino) language of the Caribbean, said to mean "a roll of tobacco leaves" (according to Las Casas, 1552) or "a kind of pipe for smoking tobacco" (according to Oviedo, 1535). Scholars of Caribbean languages lean toward Las Casas' explanation. But Spanish tabaco (also Italian tabacco) was a name of medicinal herbs from early 15c., from Arabic tabbaq, attested since 9c. as the name of various herbs. So the word may be a European one transferred to an American plant. The West Indian island of Tobago was said to have been named by Columbus in 1498 from Haitian tambaku "pipe," in reference to the native custom of smoking dried tobacco leaves [Room].
Cultivation in France began 1556 with an importation of seed by Andre Thevet; introduced in Spain 1558 by Francisco Fernandes. Tobacco Road as a mythical place representative of rural Southern U.S. poverty is from the title of Erskine Caldwell's 1932 novel.