- a colorless alcoholic liquor of Mexico made from pulque or other fermented agave juice: it is lower in quality and rougher in taste than tequila
- any plant from which this liquor is made
- a small, spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii) of N Mexico and the SW U.S., with rounded stems, whose buttonlike tops (mescal buttons) are chewed, specif., in religious ceremonies by Mexican Indians, for their hallucinogenic effects
Origin of mescalSpanish mezcal from Nahuatl mexcalli
- See peyote.
- a. A Mexican liquor distilled from the fermented sap of certain agaves.b. A food prepared by cooking the large young flowering stalk of certain agaves.c. An agave, especially one used for producing food or beverages.
Origin of mescalAmerican Spanish from Nahuatl mexcalli cooked agave metl, me- agave ixca to bake -l- passive suffix -tli unpossessed absolute singular noun suffix
From Nahuatl or Classical Nahuatl mexcalli (“itoxicating drink made from fermented agave juice"), perhaps from metl (“maguey (agave)") + ixcalli (“stew").