ab·​a·​ca ˌa-bə-ˈkä How to pronounce abaca (audio)
: a strong fiber obtained from the leafstalk of a banana (Musa textilis) native to the Philippines

called also Manila hemp

: the plant that yields abaca

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web These fine blotting sheets are made from natural abaca leaf, a banana relative known for its water-resistance and cleansing properties. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 17 Mar. 2023 The foundation sets a stylish yet carefree tone, topped with textural abaca placemats in an octagon shape bordered in navy blue. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022 In the living room, there’s a graphic abaca rug in the shape of a slithering snake. Julia Bainbridge, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2020 Made in silk abaca straw, the hat finished off the royal mom’s all-pink chic look for the event back in July. Monique Jessen, PEOPLE.com, 12 Nov. 2019 The Josef Frank–style candlestick lamp is from Svenskt Tenn, the swing-arm lamp is by Ann-Morris, Inc., and the custom abaca rug is by Beauvais Carpets. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, 21 May 2018 Designer: DeAnna Gibbons, DeAnna Gibbons Millinery Dresses: A royal wedding guest Materials: Draped lilac silk abaca with handmade red silk flowers, red glass currents and yellow nose-length veil. Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Jan. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abaca.' 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 abacá, from Tagalog abaká

First Known Use

1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of abaca was in 1751

Dictionary Entries Near abaca

Cite this Entry

“Abaca.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abaca. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ab·​a·​ca ˌab-ə-ˈkä How to pronounce abaca (audio)
: a strong fiber that comes from a banana plant native to the Philippines

called also Manila hemp

More from Merriam-Webster on abaca

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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