Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various American plants of the genus Agave, especially the century plant. Also called mescal.
  • n. Any of various plants of the related genus Furcraea.
  • n. The fiber obtained from any of these plants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various large agaves of Mexico and the southern US, especially the American aloe, Agave americana.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any of several species of Agave, such as the century plant (Agave Americana), a plant requiring many years to come to maturity and blossoming only once before dying; and the Agave atrovirens, a Mexican plant used especially for making pulque, the source of the colorless Mexican liquor mescal; and the cantala (Agave cantala), a Philippine plant yielding a hard fibre used in making coarse twine. See agave.
  • n. A hard fibre used in making coarse twine, derived from the Philippine Agave cantala (Agave cantala); also called cantala.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The American aloe, Agave americana.

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

  • n. Philippine plant yielding a hard fibre used in making coarse twine
  • n. Mexican plant used especially for making pulque which is the source of the colorless Mexican liquor, mescal

Etymologies

Spanish, of Cariban origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish maguey, from Taino maguey. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At all events, the maguey is a source of unfailing profit, the consumption of pulque being enormous, so that many of the richest families in the capital owe their fortune entirely to the produce of their magueys.

    Life in Mexico, During a Residence of Two Years in That Country

  • The Americanized name for maguey is century plant, and they are pretty common in the Southwest.

    Alb´┐Żndigas Soup

  • The filling for these tacos is traditionally prepared by wrapping sheep, lamb or goat meat in maguey leaf linings, called pencas, placing it over a pan to catch the juices which help steam the meat, and burying it in a fire pit in the ground, something like an underground oven.

    Wrap It Up: A Guide To Mexican Street Tacos - Part I

  • Once the rocks are deemed hot enough, the butchered animal is wrapped in maguey leaves and lowered into the pit over a large pan that will catch the liquid to be served as consome, a traditional accompaniment to barbacoa.

    A Gastronomic Circuit Around the City or When Lost in Mexico, Follow Your Stomach: El Estado de Mexico

  • I have lived over 10 years in Mexico in Mexican homes (my husband's family), so I have some input that could serve here: maguey is a cactus, but it is baked and eaten as a fruit/sweet with that same flavor as tequila.

    Strange Fruit

  • Meat steamed in maguey leaves: Mixiotes: Mexican Recipe

    Meat steamed in maguey leaves: Mixiotes

  • The maguey is planted at the interval of three yards apart, and in such a manner that every way you look across an estate the plants run in a straight line; they thrive in almost any soil, and after planting need no more attention until the time of flowering, which is anywhere from six to ten years.

    Six Months in Mexico

  • Blue Agave is sometimes known as maguey, mexic, pita and teometl.

    Documenting Reality

  • I can't say I'm all that fond of the taste of maguey, which is similar to a cross between pumpkin and sweet potato.

    Strange Fruit

  • Spain; honey and wax from bees, and from the stalks of maize, which are as sweet as the sugar-cane; honey is also extracted from the plant called maguey, [2] which is superior to sweet or new wine; from the same plant they extract sugar and wine, which they also sell.

    South American Fights and Fighters And Other Tales of Adventure

Comments

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  • "The shy mimosa opened at his glance; the spiky maguey drooped at his touch, its barbs turned soft and pliant."
    -Tintin in the New World by Frederic Tuten, p 237

    July 11, 2008