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Definition of TEOSINTE
: any of several tall annual or perennial grasses (genus Zea) of Mexico and Central America that have small dark triangular seeds and include two species (Z. mays parviglumis and Z. m. mexicana syn. Z. mexicana) which are closely related to and often considered ancestral to corn
Origin of TEOSINTE
Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl teōcintli, from teōtl god + cintli dried ears of maize
First Known Use: circa 1877
Tall, stout, annual grass (Zea mexicana) of the family Poaceae, native to Mexico. Related to corn, teosinte grows in large clumps, producing bundles of fruiting spikes enclosed in husks and with silk hanging from the upper ends, similar to corn ears. Species of corn have recently been crossed with teosinte to produce a perennial variety of corn.