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any of several plants belonging to the genus Nicotiana, of the nightshade family, especially one of those species, as N. tabacum, whose leaves are prepared for smoking or chewing or as snuff.
the prepared leaves, as used in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
any product or products made from such leaves.
any of various similar plants of other genera.
Contemporary Examples

Brent Moore, et al. “Respiratory Effects of Marijuana and tobacco Use in a U.S. Sample.”
Is Pot Good for Lungs? New Marijuana Study Adds to Health-Effects Debate Anneli Rufus January 13, 2012

Even when caught with 100 pouches of tobacco the infractions are minor.
With Cigarettes Banned In Most Prisons, Gangs Shift From Drugs To Smokes Seth Ferranti June 1, 2013

My grandfather lived fast and large—he liked his liquor and his tobacco, and he was also an ace gambler.
Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History Katie Baker October 23, 2014

Once the tobacco is on the compound, the pouches wholesale for 50 books of stamps, or $300 each.
With Cigarettes Banned In Most Prisons, Gangs Shift From Drugs To Smokes Seth Ferranti June 1, 2013

But at 16.9 percent, tobacco smokers out-phelgmed them both.
Is Pot Good for Lungs? New Marijuana Study Adds to Health-Effects Debate Anneli Rufus January 13, 2012

Historical Examples

There was nothing but tobacco and pipe in the outside pockets of his coat.
The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum

Chip gurgled again, and drew the tobacco sack shut with his teeth.
Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower

tobacco and live-stock are exported from Montenegro to Austria.
Commercial Geography Jacques W. Redway

Then he said, meekly, “Does your mother object to tobacco smoke, ma’am?”
Quaint Courtships Various

It is useless to tell you that I had my pipe, and that the tobacco in Athens is better than yours.
The King of the Mountains Edmond About

noun (pl) -cos, -coes
any of numerous solanaceous plants of the genus Nicotiana, having mildly narcotic properties, tapering hairy leaves, and tubular or funnel-shaped fragrant flowers. The species N. tabacum is cultivated as the chief source of commercial tobacco
the leaves of certain of these plants dried and prepared for snuff, chewing, or smoking

1580s, from Spanish tabaco, in part from an Arawakan (probably Taino) language of the Caribbean, said to mean “a roll of tobacco leaves” (according to Las Casas, 1552) or “a kind of pipe for smoking tobacco” (according to Oviedo, 1535). Scholars of Caribbean languages lean toward Las Casas’ explanation. But Spanish tabaco (also Italian tabacco) was a name of medicinal herbs from early 15c., from Arabic tabbaq, attested since 9c. as the name of various herbs. So the word may be a European one transferred to an American plant. The West Indian island of Tobago was said to have been named by Columbus in 1498 from Haitian tambaku “pipe,” in reference to the native custom of smoking dried tobacco leaves [Room].

Cultivation in France began 1556 with an importation of seed by Andre Thevet; introduced in Spain 1558 by Francisco Fernandes. Tobacco Road as a mythical place representative of rural Southern U.S. poverty is from the title of Erskine Caldwell’s 1932 novel.


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