• Tools used in the cultivation of tobacco over 300 years ago. These tools—hoe, billhook, and cutting knives—were excavated at Jamestown
    Tools used in the cultivation of tobacco over 300 years ago. These tools—hoe, billhook, and cutting knives—were excavated at Jamestown
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n tobacco leaves of the tobacco plant dried and prepared for smoking or ingestion
    • n tobacco aromatic annual or perennial herbs and shrubs
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Harvesting tobacco at Jamestown, about 1650. (Painting by Sidney E. King.) Harvesting tobacco at Jamestown, about 1650. (Painting by Sidney E. King.)
Tobacco Plant Tobacco Plant
Loading Tobacco Loading Tobacco

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Tobacco contains over 50 chemicals that can cause cancer
    • Tobacco (Bot) An American plant (Nicotiana Tabacum) of the Nightshade family, much used for smoking and chewing, and as snuff. As a medicine, it is narcotic, emetic, and cathartic. Tobacco has a strong, peculiar smell, and an acrid taste.
    • Tobacco The leaves of the plant prepared for smoking, chewing, etc., by being dried, cured, and manufactured in various ways.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined
    • n tobacco The mouse-ear everlasting, Antennaria plantaginifolia.
    • n tobacco a variety with a broad, short leaf grown in two counties in Indiana, used for making common cigars.
    • n tobacco In Queensland, the name is also applied to the pituri, Duboisia Hopwoodii. See pituri.
    • n tobacco In Tasmania, a shrub of the aster family, Cassinia spectabilis.
    • n tobacco A commercial subdivision of the white Burley (see below) consisting of the darker, heavier leaves.
    • n tobacco Sometimes a brand of tobacco (see return, n., 5). One such is known as bird's-eye returns.
    • n tobacco A plant of the genus Nicotiana, particularly one of several species affording the narcotic product of the same name. The most generally cultivated is N. Tabacum, a plant of South American origin, found in culture among the aborigines. It is of stately habit, 3 to 6 feet high; the leaves from ovate to narrowly lanceolate, the lower commonly 2 or 3 feet long; the flowers of purplish tints, 2 inches long, disposed in a terminal panicle. (See cut under Nicotiana.) Prominent cultivated forms are the vari ety macrophylla, known as Maryland tobacco, to which the Cuban and Manila tobaccos are accredited, and the variety angustifolia, Virginian tobacco. The only other species extensively grown is N. rustica, a much smaller plant with smaller greenish flowers, sometimes called green tobaeco from the fact that the leaves retain much of their color when dry. It is suited to cool latitudes, and cultivated northward in Europe and in parts of Asia, yielding among others the Hungarian and Turkish tobaccos. N. quadrivalvis is grown by the Indians from Oregon to the Missouri river, and is their favorite kind, a low-branching, viscid-pubescent plant a foot high- Some other species are cultivated locally. The United States leads in the production of tobacco, but it is grown more or less in nearly all temperate and tropical lands. The quality depends greatly on climate, the Cuban or other fine varieties degenerating when planted elsewhere. Cuban tobacco is considered finest, that of Manila being named with it. Turkish tobaccos are famous, as also the Latakia of a district in northern Syria, Virginian tobacco ranks very high.
    • n tobacco The leaves of the tobacco-plant prepared in various forms, to be smoked, chewed, or used as snuff (see Snuff). Tobacco-leaves are sometimes gathered singly; more commonly the stalks are cut, and suspended on sticks under shelter lor drying, which requires several weeks. The leaves are then stripped and sorted, tied in bundles called hands, and “bulked” in compact circular heaps to secure a slight fermentation, which develops the properties valued; they are then packed for the manufacturer, who makes them into cigars, cheroots, cigarettes, and cut, plug, and roll tobacco, intended for smoking and chewing, and into snuff. The properties of tobacco are chiefly due to the alkaloid nicotine (which see). Medically considered, tobacco is a powerful sedative poison and a local stimulant, not now used internally unless in chronic asthma, but applied in some skin-diseases, hemorrhoids, etc. In its ordinary use as a narcotic it induces a physical and mental quiet very gratifying to the habituated, overcoming the distaste for its obnoxious properties, and making it the most nearly universal of narcotics. In large quantities it gives rise to confusion of the mind, vertigo, nausea, and at length to depression and dangerous prostration. Historically, tobacco was found in use among the Indians at the discovery of America, and associated with their solemn transactions. (See calumet.) It was unknown in the Old World before this time. It was introduced into Europe about 1559 by a Spanish physician, who brought a small quantity from America into Spain and Portugal. Thence its use spread into France and Italy. Sir Francis Drake introduced it into England about 1585, where tobacco-taverns soon became nearly as prevalent as ale-houses. Itsusewas opposed strongly by both priests and rulers. Pope Urban VIII. excommunicated users of tobacco; in Turkey and other countries its use was severely punished. The “Counterblast” of James I. of England is matter of history. The use of tobacco spread, however, in the face of all prohibitions.
    • n tobacco Same as Indian tobacco. See above.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: From the 1500's to the 1700's, tobacco was prescribed by doctors to treat a variety of ailments including headaches, toothaches, arthritis and bad breath.
    • n Tobacco to-bak′ō a plant of genus Nicotiana, order Solanaceæ, esp. one of several species, the most generally cultivated being the stately Nicotiana Tabacum, a native of America—the dried leaves used for the sedative effects for smoking in pipes, &c., and also in the form of snuff
    • ***


  • Frederic Auguste Bartholdi
    Frederic Auguste Bartholdi
    “America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.”
  • William Faulkner
    “The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.”
  • Robert E. Lee
    “I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving.”
  • George Eliot
    “Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it: it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.”
  • Bob Dole
    Bob Dole
    “We know [smoking tobacco] is not good for kids, but a lot of other things aren't good. Drinking's not good. Some would say milk's not good.”
  • Moliere
    “There's nothing quite like tobacco: it's the passion of decent folk, and whoever lives without tobacco doesn't deserve to live.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Sp. tabaco, fr. the Indian tabaco, the tube or pipe in which the Indians or Caribbees smoked this plant. Some derive the word from Tabaco, a province of Yucatan, where it was said to be first found by the Spaniards; others from the island of Tobago, one of the Caribbees. But these derivations are very doubtful
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through Sp. tabaco, from the Haytian.


In literature:

The famous "Havana" tobacco grows mainly in the western part, although practically all Cuban tobacco is classed under this name.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
Tobacco sacks make the best rav'lin's.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4" by Work Projects Administration
"Mysteries of Bee-keeping Explained" by M. Quinby
There are gigantic models of tobacco pipes, formerly hung up against the walls as ornaments.
"Chats on Household Curios" by Fred W. Burgess
"Child's Health Primer For Primary Classes" by Jane Andrews
You are wondering how I have the nerve to eat your food and smoke your tobacco when I'm here on this irrigation job.
"Desert Conquest" by A. M. Chisholm
The small portion of tobacco remaining unsmoked in the pipe.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Encores, packets of tobacco, a new suit of clothes!
"The Bill-Toppers" by Andre Castaigne
Like all adventurers, they insisted on good tobacco.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
A pipe, a silver match-box, a tobacco-box of some metal, quaintly chased and ornamented.
"Ravensdene Court" by J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher

In poetry:

The pipe that is so lily-white,
Shows thee to be a mortal wight;
And even such, gone with a touch,
Thus thinke, then drinke tobacco.
"Tobacco" by George Wither
The pipe so lily-like and weak,
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak.
Thou art ev'n such,
Gone with a touch.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
"Meditations on Smoking Tobacco; or, Smoking Spiritualized" by Ralph Erskine
The pipe so lily-like and weak,
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak;
Thou art e'en such, -
Gone with a touch:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
"Smoking Spiritualized" by Anonymous British
Was this small plant for thee cut down?
So was the plant of great renown,
Which Mercy sends
For nobler ends.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
"Smoking Spiritualized" by Anonymous British
Was this small plant for thee cut down?
So was the Plant of great renown;
Which mercy sends
For nobler ends.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
"Meditations on Smoking Tobacco; or, Smoking Spiritualized" by Ralph Erskine
In vain the unlighted pipe you blow,
Your pains in outward means are so,
Till heavenly fire
Your heart inspire.
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
"Smoking Spiritualized" by Anonymous British

In news:

The Laurel Hill School students spoke on behalf of the Students Working Against Tobacco program.
As it happened, researchers were anticipating a connection between alcohol or tobacco and cancer.
This week in Washington politics involved major moves on health-care, tobacco, and welfare reform.
Few present-day Wayne County residents have any idea of the great extent to which tobacco farming was carried on within its borders, and particularly in Milton and Chippewa townships.
Tobacco farm struggles, turns into gun park.
View full size AP Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) urges baseball commissioner Bud Selig and the players union to test for HGH and ban chewing tobacco in a soon to be released letter.
Food, Drink & Tobacco (distributes food, bottled water, oil and furniture).
A hailstorm in Nicaragua turned a crop of tobacco destined to become Padrón cigars into a tattered mess.
Jones was one of the first farmers in the county to begin harvesting tobacco.
Decoding Haverstraw 's Questionable Tobacco Display Ban.
They carry tobacco-smoking water pipes.
Tobacco warnings, West Nile Virus symptoms.
In a US Appeals Court ruling, tobacco companies won't have to place new warning labels on cigarette packs.
Beckman takes PR hit for tobacco use.
I hope George McGovern's Aug 14 Op-Ed article was not meant to exonerate the tobacco industry.

In science:

Alcohol and tobacco spending in Great Britain .
A new graphical tool of outliers detection in regression models based on recursive estimation
NBP bill rate balance of payments, and from the set of explanatory variables ordinary measures of inflation - CPI in food sector, beverages and tobacco ans services.
A Random Matrix Approach to Dynamic Factors in macroeconomic data
Logistic Regression on Substance Use One aspect of the Add Health data that is of particular interest is the degree to which students use, or have used, tobacco and alcohol.
Exponential-family Random Network Models
We define substance use as either current use of tobacco or having used alcohol at least 3 times.
Exponential-family Random Network Models
The second example uses a real ET data set of a specimen containing Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV).
A new principle for choosing regularization parameter in certain inverse problems