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esparto

or espar·to grass

[ih-spahr-toh]
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noun, plural es·par·tos.
  1. any of several grasses, especially Stipa tenacissima, of southern Europe and northern Africa, used for making paper, cordage, etc.
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Origin of esparto

1585–95; < Spanish < Latin spartum < Greek spárton rope made of spártos kind of rush
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for esparto

Historical Examples

  • Its chief exports are esparto grass, sponges, and dye-stuffs.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • Esparto is a kind of grass now much used in the manufacture of paper.

  • (C) Esparto is frequently bleached by the “steeping” process.

    The Manufacture of Paper

    Robert Walter Sindall

  • A fibre called alfa, a variety of esparto, which grows wild on the high plateaux, is exported in large quantities.

  • Alfa, al′fa, n. an African name for esparto grass—also spelt Halfa.


British Dictionary definitions for esparto

esparto

esparto grass

noun plural -tos
  1. any of various grasses, esp Stipa tenacissima of S Europe and N Africa, that yield a fibre used to make ropes, mats, etc
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Word Origin

C18: from Spanish, via Latin from Greek sparton rope made of rushes, from spartos a kind of rush
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