Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tropical plant, Musa paradisaca or its fruit.
  • noun Plantago aristata, a species with very narrow leaves and long narrow bracts, native mostly west of the Mississippi but now a common weed eastward from Maine to Georgia.
  • noun A plant of the genus Plantago, especially P. major, the common or greater plantain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) Any plant of the genus Plantago, but especially the Plantago major, a low herb with broad spreading radical leaves, and slender spikes of minute flowers. It is a native of Europe, but now found near the abode of civilized man in nearly all parts of the world.
  • noun (Bot.) See under Indian.
  • noun a homely North American aquatic plant (Heteranthera reniformis), having broad, reniform leaves.
  • noun an orchidaceous plant (Goodyera pubescens), with the leaves blotched and spotted with white.
  • noun See Ribwort.
  • noun the Erigeron bellidifolium, a common daisylike plant of North America.
  • noun a plant of the genus Alisma, having acrid leaves, and formerly regarded as a specific against hydrophobia.
  • noun (Bot.) A treelike perennial herb (Musa paradisiaca) of tropical regions, bearing immense leaves and large clusters of the fruits called plantains. See musa.
  • noun The fruit of this plant. It is long and somewhat cylindrical, slightly curved, and, when ripe, soft, fleshy, and covered with a thick but tender yellowish skin. The plantain is a staple article of food in most tropical countries, especially when cooked.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several large African birds of the genus Musophaga, or family Musophagidæ, especially Musophaga violacea. See Turaco. They are allied to the cuckoos.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a Java squirrel (Sciurus plantani) which feeds upon plantains.
  • noun (Bot.) the treelike herb Musa paradisiaca. See def. 1 (above).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A plant of the genus Plantago, with a rosette of sessile leaves about 10 cm long with a narrow part instead of a petiole, and with a spike inflorescence with the flower spacing varying widely among the species. See also psyllium.
  • noun A plant in the genus Musa, the genus that includes banana, but with lower sugar content than banana.
  • noun The fruit of the plant, usually cooked before eating and used like potatoes.

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

  • noun starchy banana-like fruit; eaten (always cooked) as a staple vegetable throughout the tropics
  • noun a banana tree bearing hanging clusters of edible angular greenish starchy fruits; tropics and subtropics
  • noun any of numerous plants of the genus Plantago; mostly small roadside or dooryard weeds with elliptic leaves and small spikes of very small flowers; seeds of some used medicinally

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman plainteine et al., Old French plaintain, from Latin plantaginem ("plantain"), accusative of plantāgō, from planta ("sole"), because of the broad, flat shape of the plantain leaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish plantano, obsolete variant of plátano, from Galibi Carib platana ("banana").

Examples

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