Definitions

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

  • n. A bananalike plant (Musa textilis) native to the Philippines and having broad leaves with long stalks.
  • n. The fibers obtained from the stalks of this plant, used to make cordage, fabric, and paper. Also called manila, Manila hemp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The Manila-hemp plant (Musa textilis); also, its fiber. See Manila hemp under manila.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The native Philippine name of the plant Musa textilis, which yields manila hemp. Also spelled abaka.

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

  • n. a kind of hemp obtained from the abaca plant in the Philippines
  • n. Philippine banana tree having leafstalks that yield Manila hemp used for rope and paper etc

Etymologies

Spanish abacá, from Tagalog abaka.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish abacá, from Tagalog abaká (native name for the plant). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We were shown a species of banana, called abaca, the finer filaments of which, mixed with silk, are manufactured into native cloth.

    In the Eastern Seas

  • Others can decipher the calendar and the lives of the saints, can sign their names with tolerable facility, and can make the simpler arithmetical calculations with the help of the stchety, a little calculating instrument, composed of wooden balls strung on brass wires, which resembles the "abaca" of the old Romans, and is universally used in Russia.

    Russia

  • The latter, which was made of "abaca," the fibre of a banana, vulgarly called "Manilla hemp," although recommended on account of its great elasticity, was not of much use on board ship.

    Celebrated Travels and Travellers Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century

  • The product was made from powder coated iron frame with abaca rope weaving.

    Tour Eiffel Lamp

  • To anchor the restaurant in its location, Rockwell Group surrounded the restaurant walls and ceilings with large hand-woven curvilinear abaca panels to evoke an environment submerged under an ocean wave, and added accents of traditional Middle Eastern vernacular architecture such as hand-wrought iron columns of flowers, leaves and buds.

    Nobu Restaurant in Dubai by Rockwell Group

  • This has to be a good thing given that just a few years ago no one would have imagined names like Givenchy, Versace, or Burberry coming together to explore the possibilities of fibers like hemp, abaca, or bamboo for their future collections.

    FUTUREFASHION: Earth Pledge Remakes Fashion Week | Inhabitat

  • This was extremely useful as many of us are familiar with eco-fibers like bamboo, hemp, organic cotton or wool, and soybean, but are less familiar with abaca, lyocell, mud silk, sasawashi, or peace silk, for example.

    FUTUREFASHION: Earth Pledge Remakes Fashion Week | Inhabitat

  • Their gorgeous line of residential fabrics do not have any toxic finishes and are made from 100 percent biodegradable natural fibers including bamboo, hemp, linen, organic cotton, , abaca and wool.

    Treehugger’s Eco Fabric Roundup

  • OEcotextiles uses a variety of fibers, including linen from Italy, organic cotton from Peru, bamboo from China, hemp from Romania, and abaca from Ecuador, all grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

    Jan Sundberg Whitsitt: Is Your Newly Decorated House, Hotel Room Or Cruise Ship Cabin Making You Sick?

  • Adding tactile rugs—everything from wool kilim to plush chenille to nubby abaca—introduces another layer of textural depth.

    Thom Filicia Style

Comments

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  • "Clare comes in carrying an armful of abaca fiber."
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, p 106 of the Harcourt paperback edition

    August 8, 2010