American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A substance composed chiefly of the dung of sea birds or bats, accumulated along certain coastal areas or in caves and used as fertilizer.
- n. Any of various similar substances, such as a fertilizer prepared from ground fish parts.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A fertilizing excrement found on many small islands in the Southern Ocean and on the western coast of Africa, but chiefly on islands lying near the Peruvian coast. The Peruvian guano of commerce formerly came from the Chincha islands; but in recent years the chief sources of supply are Pabellon de Pica, Punta de Lobos, Huanillos, and other places on or near the Peruvian coast. Those islands are the resort of large flocks of sea-birds, and are chiefly composed of their excrement in a decomposed state. Guano sometimes forms beds from 50 to 60 feet in thickness. It is an excellent manure, and since 1841 has been extensively used for that purpose. It contains much ammonium oxalate and urate, with phosphates.
- n. A fertilizer made from fishes. See fish-manure.
- To manure with guano.
- n. Dung from a sea bird or from a bat.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A substance found in great abundance on some coasts or islands frequented by sea fowls, and composed chiefly of their excrement. It is rich in phosphates and ammonia, and is used as a powerful fertilizer.
- n. the excrement of sea birds; used as fertilizer
- From Spanish guano, from Quechuan huanu ("dung"). (Wiktionary)
- Spanish, from Quechua huanu, dung. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The guano is harvested and mixed with saliva from kimodo lizards and allowed to grow to fruition within the alimentary canals of squids culled from the Ganges and is then scraped from the ink sacs and placed in vats filled with duck heads. 23 hours later a judge emerges, ready to think.”
“Among the farming community the word guano soon became a name to conjure with, and under this title many spurious and worthless manures were attempted to be palmed off on the unwary farmer.”
“Great, too, are the resources of such stretches of land as the Atacama desert or the islands off the Pacific coast of South America whence guano is shipped to all quarters of the globe.”
“The new manures which have lately been so fashionable are of both kinds: guano is the dung of sea birds, which has been accumulating for ages on islands off the western coasts of Africa and South America; and nitrate of soda and Humphrey's compound are mineral substances which are very efficacious in promoting vegetation.”
“The islands are covered in birg droppings (50 metres deep in some places) called guano which is apparently a good fertilizer.”
“They carried coal from England to the East, guano from the Chincha Islands to England and France, petroleum from the Gulf Ports to Europe and South America and wool from Australia to England.”
“At that time, bird droppings—called guano—were, alongside corpses, the most valuable fertilizer around.”
“Fritz Haber was a chemist who realized that there was soon going to be a crisis: the urgent need to find an artificial replacement for bird-droppings, aka guano fertilizer, on which Euro-food supplies depended.”
“And the guano, which is the you know what, the feces, is stacked up over hundreds of years.”
“This substance is called guano and it is hundreds of feet thick.”
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