to·​bac·​co | \ tə-ˈba-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce tobacco (audio) \
plural tobaccos

Definition of tobacco

1 : any of a genus (Nicotiana) of chiefly American plants of the nightshade family with viscid foliage and tubular flowers especially : a tall erect annual tropical American herb (N. tabacum) cultivated for its leaves
2 : the leaves of cultivated tobacco prepared for use in smoking or chewing or as snuff
3 : manufactured products of tobacco (such as cigars or cigarettes) also : smoking as a practice has sworn off tobacco
4 : a moderate brown

Illustration of tobacco

Illustration of tobacco

tobacco 1

Examples of tobacco in a Sentence

a farm that grows tobacco a state tax on tobacco

Recent Examples on the Web

But there are plenty of cheap multinationals that won’t be much affected by Brexit, with U.K.-listed tobacco stocks at just 8.7 times forward earnings and oil and gas stocks below 10 times. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "When to Pounce on a Brexit Buying Opportunity," 18 Dec. 2018 Today’s paper comes out of the massive, long-term Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, which looks at tobacco and electronic cigarette use across the US. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out," 14 Dec. 2018 They were also asked about their use of other substances, including tobacco and alcohol, as well as their other demographic information and their family history of cancer. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "8 of the Best Weed Vaporizers for the Total Beginner," 13 Dec. 2018 The biggest health threats over the next few decades, says the IHME, are obesity, high blood pressure, and blood sugar, as well as tobacco and alcohol use. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Why Spain Is Set to Become the Country With the Longest Life Expectancy," 30 Oct. 2018 According to the Mayo Clinic, the enlarged papillae can trap and be stained by a number of things that would result in the discoloration, including bacteria, tobacco, and more. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "Black Hairy Tongue Is a Real Medical Diagnosis," 7 Sep. 2018 Drug use, tobacco and obesity also play a role, the Mayo Clinic reported. Mari A. Schaefer,, "Study: Nutrition in nuts may help boost sperm count," 10 July 2018 Below, Kurkdjian spoke with the Cut about the scents of his grandmother’s jam, raw tobacco, and fresh baguettes. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Francis Kurkdjian on His Love of ‘Neck Scents’ and Toasted Baguettes," 18 June 2018 Brenda Fitzgerald is now the former director of the CDC after a Politico report disclosed that Fitzgerald’s investments included tobacco stocks. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "CDC Director, Trump’s Top Health Official, Resigns After Investing in Tobacco Stocks," 31 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tobacco.' 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 tobacco

circa 1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tobacco

Spanish tabaco, probably from Taino, roll of tobacco leaves

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Dictionary Entries near tobacco





tobacco barn

tobacco beetle

tobacco box

Statistics for tobacco

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for tobacco

The first known use of tobacco was circa 1565

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More Definitions for tobacco



English Language Learners Definition of tobacco

: a plant that produces leaves which are smoked in cigarettes, pipes, etc.
: the leaves of the tobacco plant used for smoking or chewing
: products (such as cigars or cigarettes) that are made from tobacco


to·​bac·​co | \ tə-ˈba-kō How to pronounce tobacco (audio) \
plural tobaccos

Kids Definition of tobacco

: the usually large sticky leaves of a tall plant related to the potato that are dried and prepared for use in smoking or chewing or as snuff


to·​bac·​co | \ tə-ˈbak-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce tobacco (audio) \
plural tobaccos

Medical Definition of tobacco

1 : any plant of the genus Nicotiana especially : an annual South American herb (N. tabacum) cultivated for its leaves
2 : the leaves of cultivated tobacco prepared for use in smoking or chewing or as snuff
3 : manufactured products of tobacco also : the use of tobacco as a practice

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More from Merriam-Webster on tobacco

Spanish Central: Translation of tobacco

Nglish: Translation of tobacco for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tobacco for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tobacco

Comments on tobacco

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


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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