- a fiber obtained from the leaves of the raffia palm, used for tying plants and other objects and for making mats, baskets, hats, and the like.
Origin of raffia
1880–85; earlier rofia raffia palm, said to be < Malagasy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for raffia
The graft is tied with raffia, after which it is all but covered with a mound of soil.Manual of American Grape-Growing
U. P. Hedrick
Take a piece of raffia or cord and tie a loop with two ends.
Take three thick strands of raffia and twist them into a rope.
When the seat is woven whip the edge all around with raffia for a finish.
Problem—To teach how reed and raffia may be combined in construction.
- Also called: raffia palm a palm tree, Raphia ruffia, native to Madagascar, that has large plumelike leaves, the stalks of which yield a useful fibre
- the fibre obtained from this plant, used for tying, weaving, etc
- any of several related palms or the fibre obtained from them
C19: from Malagasy
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 raffia
fiber-yielding tree of Madagascar, 1729, rofia, from Malagasy rafia. Modern form is attested from 1882; also raphia (1866).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper