bast fiber


  1. Botany. phloem.
  2. Also called bast fiber. any of several strong, woody fibers, as flax, hemp, ramie, or jute, obtained from phloem tissue and used in the manufacture of woven goods and cordage.

Origin of bast

before 900; Middle English; Old English bæst; cognate with Dutch, German, Old Norse bast; perhaps ultimately cognate with Latin fascis bundle. See bass3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bast-fiber


  1. Also called: bass fibrous material obtained from the phloem of jute, hemp, flax, lime, etc, used for making rope, matting, etc
  2. botany another name for phloem

Word Origin for bast

Old English bæst; related to Old Norse, Middle High German bast
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 bast-fiber



"inner bark of the linden tree," Old English bæst, a general Germanic word (cf. Old Norse, Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German bast), of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bast-fiber in Science

bast fiber

  1. Any of various durable fibers found in the phloem of certain eudicot plants, especially flax, hemp, and jute, used in making rope and baskets.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.