hen·​e·​quen ˈhe-ni-kən How to pronounce henequen (audio)
: a strong yellowish or reddish hard fiber obtained from the leaves of a tropical American agave (Agave fourcroydes) found chiefly in Yucatán and used especially in making twine and rope
also : a plant that yields henequen

Examples of henequen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rojo was a descendent of Tetabiate, a Yaqui leader killed in a 1901 battle with the government, which deported the surviving Yaquis to work in slave-like conditions on henequen plantations in far-away Yucatan. Mark Stevenson, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Sep. 2022 An 18th-century plantation of henequen (an agave-like plant), Hacienda Mucuyché is home to two cenotes that supposedly hosted Carlota, a Belgian princess who briefly became Empress of Mexico when Napoleon III named her husband emperor. National Geographic, 31 May 2019 Like most haciendas in the Yucatán, Huayamon — a 20-minute drive from the city — was founded in the 18th century (although most of its buildings date to the 19th century) to cultivate and process henequen, a tough fiber made from a variety of agave. Michael Snyder, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'henequen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish henequén

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of henequen was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near henequen

Cite this Entry

“Henequen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/henequen. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hen·​e·​quen ˈhen-i-kən How to pronounce henequen (audio)
: a strong hard fiber obtained from the leaves of a tropical American agave and used to make twine
also : a plant that produces henequen

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