American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various plants of the genus Nicotiana, especially N. tabacum, native to tropical America and widely cultivated for their leaves, which are used primarily for smoking.
- n. The leaves of these plants, dried and processed chiefly for use in cigarettes, cigars, or snuff or for smoking in pipes.
- n. Products made from these plants.
- n. The habit of smoking tobacco: I gave up tobacco.
- n. A crop of tobacco.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The mouse-ear everlasting, Antennaria plantaginifolia.
- n. a variety with a broad, short leaf grown in two counties in Indiana, used for making common cigars.
- n. In Queensland, the name is also applied to the pituri, Duboisia Hopwoodii. See pituri.
- n. In Tasmania, a shrub of the aster family, Cassinia spectabilis.
- n. A commercial subdivision of the white Burley (see below) consisting of the darker, heavier leaves.
- n. Sometimes a brand of tobacco (see return, n., 5). One such is known as bird's-eye returns.
- n. A plant of the genus Nicotiana, particularly one of several species affording the narcotic product of the same name. The most generally cultivated is N. Tabacum, a plant of South American origin, found in culture among the aborigines. It is of stately habit, 3 to 6 feet high; the leaves from ovate to narrowly lanceolate, the lower commonly 2 or 3 feet long; the flowers of purplish tints, 2 inches long, disposed in a terminal panicle. (See cut under
Nicotiana.) Prominent cultivated forms are the vari ety macrophylla, known as Maryland tobacco, to which the Cuban and Manila tobaccos are accredited, and the variety angustifolia, Virginian tobacco. The only other species extensively grown is N. rustica, a much smaller plant with smaller greenish flowers, sometimes called green tobaecofrom the fact that the leaves retain much of their color when dry. It is suited to cool latitudes, and cultivated northward in Europe and in parts of Asia, yielding among others the Hungarian and Turkish tobaccos. N. quadrivalvis is grown by the Indians from Oregon to the Missouri river, and is their favorite kind, a low-branching, viscid-pubescent plant a foot high- Some other species are cultivated locally. The United States leads in the production of tobacco, but it is grown more or less in nearly all temperate and tropical lands. The quality depends greatly on climate, the Cuban or other fine varieties degenerating when planted elsewhere. Cuban tobacco is considered finest, that of Manila being named with it. Turkish tobaccos are famous, as also the Latakia of a district in northern Syria, Virginian tobacco ranks very high.
- n. The leaves of the tobacco-plant prepared in various forms, to be smoked, chewed, or used as snuff (see Snuff). Tobacco-leaves are sometimes gathered singly; more commonly the stalks are cut, and suspended on sticks under shelter lor drying, which requires several weeks. The leaves are then stripped and sorted, tied in bundles called
hands, and “bulked” in compact circular heaps to secure a slight fermentation, which develops the properties valued; they are then packed for the manufacturer, who makes them into cigars, cheroots, cigarettes, and cut, plug, and roll tobacco, intended for smoking and chewing, and into snuff. The properties of tobacco are chiefly due to the alkaloid nicotine (which see). Medically considered, tobacco is a powerful sedative poison and a local stimulant, not now used internally unless in chronic asthma, but applied in some skin-diseases, hemorrhoids, etc. In its ordinary use as a narcotic it induces a physical and mental quiet very gratifying to the habituated, overcoming the distaste for its obnoxious properties, and making it the most nearly universal of narcotics. In large quantities it gives rise to confusion of the mind, vertigo, nausea, and at length to depression and dangerous prostration. Historically, tobacco was found in use among the Indians at the discovery of America, and associated with their solemn transactions. (See calumet.) It was unknown in the Old World before this time. It was introduced into Europe about 1559 by a Spanish physician, who brought a small quantity from America into Spain and Portugal. Thence its use spread into France and Italy. Sir Francis Drake introduced it into England about 1585, where tobacco-taverns soon became nearly as prevalent as ale-houses. Itsusewas opposed strongly by both priests and rulers. Pope Urban VIII. excommunicated users of tobacco; in Turkey and other countries its use was severely punished. The “Counterblast” of James I. of England is matter of history. The use of tobacco spread, however, in the face of all prohibitions.
- n. Same as Indian tobacco. See above.
- n. uncountable Any plant of the genus Nicotiana.
- n. uncountable Leaves of certain varieties of the plant cultivated and harvested to make cigarettes, cigars, snuff, for smoking in pipes or for chewing.
- n. countable A variety of tobacco.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) An American plant (Nicotiana Tabacum) of the Nightshade family, much used for smoking and chewing, and as snuff. As a medicine, it is narcotic, emetic, and cathartic. Tobacco has a strong, peculiar smell, and an acrid taste.
- n. The leaves of the plant prepared for smoking, chewing, etc., by being dried, cured, and manufactured in various ways.
- n. aromatic annual or perennial herbs and shrubs
- n. leaves of the tobacco plant dried and prepared for smoking or ingestion
- Spanish tabaco, possibly of Caribbean origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Suppose Count Mercier wished to say that he was sorry that his tobacco had been captured by the foe, why should he couch it in such language as, 'Thá mee ongan hréowan thaet mín _tobacco_ on feónda geweald feran sceolde' -- which is the good _old_ Anglo-Saxon idiom. ”
“Furthermore, and oh, you tobacco users, take heed: _we would not be permitted to take in any tobacco_.”
“Or without the smoking, to breathe where tobacco is burnt, -- _that_ calms the nervous system in a wonderful manner, as I experienced once myself when, recovering from an illness, I could not sleep, and tried in vain all sorts of narcotics and forms of hop-pillow and inhalation, yet was tranquillized in one half hour by a _pinch_ of _tobacco_ being burnt in a shovel near me.”
“It was returning to the gratification of a depraved appetite in the use of tobacco; and I have no hesitancy in declaring it as my opinion, that could the causes of the many acts of suicide, committed in the United States, be investigated, it would be found, that many instances were owing to the effects of _tobacco_ upon the nervous system.”
“Though every lover of tobacco is not a slave to rum, yet _almost every drunkard is a slave to tobacco_; and this is indirect evidence that the habits are in a manner associated, or have a sort of natural affinity.”
“_tobacco_ ones (except those actually employed in raising tobacco) now spread over those parts of our territories to the”
“Had A.C. M. recollected that tobacco (_Nicotiana_) is an American plant, he would hardly have asked whether "_tobacco_ is the word in the original" of the tradition mentioned by Sale in his _Preliminary Discourse_, § 5.p. 123. (4to. ed.”
“The rise of the use of marijuana in the United States has brought about the use of the term tobacco cigarette.”
“The Spaniards were astonished to see the natives walking about smoking rolled-up leaves which they called tobacco, and had no notion what a source of wealth these leaves in the form of cigars would become in the future.”
“He talked English with no further accent than served to add a raciness to the flavour of his conversation; and every morning of one fixed day in the week he used to come to Ricorboli for what he called a tobacco parliament.”
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