\ˈhemp \

Definition of hemp 

1a : a tall widely cultivated Asian herb (Cannabis sativa of the family Cannabaceae, the hemp family) that is cultivated for its tough bast fiber and edible seeds and oil and that is often separated into a tall loosely branched species (C. sativa) and a low-growing densely branched species (C. indica)

Note: Cultivated hemp is often distinguished from cannabis by possessing very low levels of the psychoactive substance THC.

b : the fiber of hemp hemp can produce superb paper and construction materials lighter and stronger than lumber.— Ted Williams often used before another noun hemp ropea hemp shirt

c : marijuana also : hashish

2 : a fiber (such as jute) from a plant other than the true hemp also : a plant yielding such fiber

Examples of hemp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Seed brittle Makes 1 quart 120 mL water 200 grams granulated sugar 160 grams light corn syrup 100 grams (mixed) of sunflower seeds, hemp hearts and sesame seeds 1 teaspoon baking soda In a saucepan, bring water, sugar and syrup to 225 degrees. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Rye's chef goes for bold flavors (like this paprika octopus) but keeps the menu simple," 17 Apr. 2018 Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said the bill also includes a measure to legalize industrial hemp. Juliet Linderman, BostonGlobe.com, "Senate unveils farm bill, leaves food stamps alone," 8 June 2018 Now some states are permitted to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. Christy Brissette, chicagotribune.com, "Milk, bread, hemp oil? On 4/20, a dietitian's guide to the cannabis items in your grocery store," 20 Apr. 2018 McConnell secured a hemp pilot program in the most recent farm bill in 2014. Fox News, "Senate passes its version of farm bill, setting up clash over food stamps," 28 June 2018 The big difference with marijuana is that hemp is very low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinols), which is what causes a high. Detroit Free Press, "CBD oil: Safe and effective pain relief," 5 June 2018 Step 12: Once the bow has been stained, dried, and sealed, wrap the 5 inches of handle with hemp cord using a whipping technique (above). Andrew Del-colle And Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Bow and Arrow By Hand," 5 June 2018 The Illinois General Assembly also approved a measure allowing the state to license the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp, defined as the cannabis sativa plant with less than .3 percent THC. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois lawmakers OK medical marijuana as prescription painkiller substitute; bill goes to governor," 4 June 2018 By modern definitions, industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC by weight. William L. Spence, idahostatesman, "Congress has moved to OK this once-controversial crop, and Idaho could benefit bigtime," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hemp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hemp

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hemp

Middle English, from Old English hænep; akin to Old High German hanaf hemp, Greek kannabis

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Statistics for hemp

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for hemp

The first known use of hemp was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hemp



English Language Learners Definition of hemp

: a plant that is used to make thick ropes and some drugs (such as hashish and marijuana)


\ˈhemp \

Kids Definition of hemp

: a tall Asian plant grown for its tough woody fiber that is used especially in making rope and for its flowers and leaves that yield drugs (as marijuana)


\ˈhemp \

Medical Definition of hemp 

1 : a tall widely cultivated Asian herb of the genus Cannabis (C. sativa) with strong woody fiber used especially for cordage

2 : the fiber of hemp

3 : a psychoactive drug (as marijuana or hashish) from hemp

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Comments on hemp

What made you want to look up hemp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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