Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
noun pl. bar·bas·cos
- Any of several tropical American plants, as in the genus Lonchocarpus, that contain a substance that can stun or paralyze fish.
- Any of several Mexican plants of the genus Dioscorea having a large, inedible root that yields an extract used as a raw material for synthetic steroid hormones.
Origin: American Spanish, from Spanish barbasco, mullein, alteration (possibly influenced by barba, beard) of verbasco, from Latin verbascum.