Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See phloem.
  • n. Bast fiber.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Fibre made from the phloem of certain plants and used for matting and cord.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The inner fibrous bark of various plants; esp. of the lime tree; hence, matting, cordage, etc., made therefrom.
  • n. A thick mat or hassock. See 2d Bass, 2.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Bastardy.
  • Bastard; illegitimate.
  • n. The strong inner fibrous bark of various trees, especially of species of linden (Tilia), of which the Russia matting of commerce is made.
  • n. In botany, a tissue, otherwise called the liber or phloëm, formed of or containing very narrow, long, and tough flexible cells, called bast-cells or bast-fibers, and occurring most abundantly in the inner bark of dicotyledons.
  • n. A rope or cord made of the inner bark of the lime-tree, or the bark made into ropes or mats. See bass, 3.
  • n. A name sometimes given to the portion of raw-silk fiber which envelops the fibroin: virtually the same as the sericin.
  • n. A trade-name of the piassava-fiber. See bast-palm, piassava, and bass, 4.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. cat- or lion-headed Egyptian goddess; represents life-giving power of the sun
  • n. (botany) tissue that conducts synthesized food substances (e.g., from leaves) to parts where needed; consists primarily of sieve tubes
  • n. strong woody fibers obtained especially from the phloem of from various plants

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English bæst.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English bæst ("bast, inner bark of trees from which ropes were made"), from Proto-Germanic *bastaz (“bast, rope”) (compare the Swedish bast, Dutch bast, German Bast), perhaps an alteration of Proto-Indo-European *bʰask-, *bʰasḱ- (“bundle”) (compare Middle Irish basc ("necklace"), Latin fascis ("bundle"), Albanian bashkë ("tied, linked")). (Wiktionary)

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