[mag-wey, muh-gey; Spanish mah-gey]


any of several plants of the genus Agave, of the agave family, especially the cantala, A. cantala.
the fiber from these plants.
a rope made from this or a similar fiber.

Origin of maguey

1545–55; < Spanish < Taino Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maguey

Historical Examples of maguey

  • The Aztecs, and the Toltecs before them, had the fermented juice of the maguey plant.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

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


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • Land of the nopal and maguey—home of Moctezuma and Malinché!

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid

  • The juice of the maguey, in its unfermented state, is called honey-water.

    Mexico and its Religion

    Robert A. Wilson

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

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for maguey



any of various tropical American agave plants of the genera Agave or Furcraea, esp one that yields a fibre or is used in making an alcoholic beverage
the fibre from any of these plants, used esp for rope

Word Origin for maguey

C16: Spanish, from Taino
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 maguey

"agave," 1550s, from Spanish, from Taino, a native Haitian language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper