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barbasco

[bahr-bas-koh, -bah-skoh]
noun, plural bar·bas·cos.
  1. a shrub or small tree, Jacquinia barbasco, of tropical America, the source of a substance used to stun fish so they can be caught easily.
  2. any similar plant yielding a substance that stuns or kills fish.
  3. the fish-stunning or fish-killing substance obtained from these plants.
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Origin of barbasco

1855–60; < American Spanish, said to be alteration of verbasco mullein < Latin verbascum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barbasco

Historical Examples

  • They catch fish with bone hooks, seines, spears, and by poisoning the water with barbasco.

    The Andes and the Amazon

    James Orton

  • The Savanerics poison pools with pounded leaves of the barbasco, and thus obtain fish without much labor.