Definition of abaca in English:


Pronunciation /ˈabəkä/ /ˈæbəkɑ/

See synonyms for abaca on


  • 1A large herbaceous Philippine plant of the banana family that yields Manila hemp.

    Musa textilis, family Musaceae

    ‘The abaca plant, a type of banana, grows in the Philippines.’
    • ‘The principal cash crops are coconuts, bananas, pineapples, sugar, tobacco, and abaca.’
    • ‘Important export crops are abaca, copra (dried coconut meat), pineapple, sugar, and tobacco.’
    • ‘A leaf fiber and a member of the banana family, abaca makes an extremely strong pulp.’
    • ‘Instead, traditional exports such as coconut, abaca and sugar have lost markets.’
    1. 1.1Manila hemp.
      ‘The shade papers are made from silk, banana, Kozo, mulberry, mango and abaca fibres.’
      • ‘The Japanese defence ministry commandeered the country's supply of abaca (hemp).’
      • ‘These Seattle sisters design placemats and table runners out of abaca fiber.’
      • ‘It's one of the benefits of using the abaca rather than the more-conventional glass fibers.’
      • ‘He created the works by dipping pieces of wire mesh into pulp made of abaca (banana fiber) and then painting the frame in lively watercolors.’


Mid 18th century via French and Spanish from Tagalog abaká.