[uh-gah-vee, uh-gey-]


any of numerous American plants belonging to the genus Agave, of the agave family, species of which are cultivated for economic or ornamental purposes: A. arizonica, of central Arizona, is an endangered species.

Origin of agave

< New Latin (Linnaeus) < Greek agauḗ, feminine of agauós noble, brilliant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for agave

Contemporary Examples of agave

Historical Examples of agave

  • The maguey—the Agave americana—was an invaluable ally of life and civilisation.


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • Maguey-sugar is derived from the sap of the maguey-plant (Agave Americana).

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • I behold the maguey of culture (Agave Americana), in all its giant proportions.

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • The agave has served them for many other purposes, from the earliest times.


    Susan Hale

  • Of all these properties of the agave the Toltecs were cognizant.


    Susan Hale

British Dictionary definitions for agave



any plant of the genus Agave, native to tropical America, with tall flower stalks rising from a massive, often armed, rosette of thick fleshy leaves: family Agavaceae. Some species are the source of fibres such as sisal or of alcoholic beverages such as pulque and tequilaSee also century plant

Word Origin for agave

C18: New Latin, from Greek agauē, feminine of agauos illustrious, probably alluding to the height of the plant
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 agave

American aloe plant, 1797, from Latin Agave, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at," from gaiein "to rejoice, exult," with intensive prefix a-. The name seems to have been taken generically by botanists, the plant perhaps so called for its "stately" flower stem.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper