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1. A species of agave (Agave cantala) cultivated chiefly in warm regions of the Old World for its leaf fibers.
2. The fiber of this plant, used for twine, rope, and nets.

[New Latin, specific epithet, perhaps from Sanskrit kaṇṭalaḥ, babul, from kaṇṭaḥ, thorn.]


1. (Plants) a tropical American plant, Agave cantala, similar to the century plant: family Agavaceae (agaves)
2. (Textiles) the coarse tough fibre of this plant, used in making twine
[of unknown origin]


(kænˈtɑ lə)

n., pl. -las.
1. a cordage fiber obtained from the leaves of a tropical plant, Agave cantala.
2. the plant itself. Also called maguey.
[1910–15; < New Latin, the species name (orig. cantula)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cantala - hard fiber used in making coarse twinecantala - hard fiber used in making coarse twine; from Philippine agave plants
fiber, fibre - a slender and greatly elongated substance capable of being spun into yarn
2.cantala - Philippine plant yielding a hard fibre used in making coarse twinecantala - Philippine plant yielding a hard fibre used in making coarse twine
agave, American aloe, century plant - tropical American plants with basal rosettes of fibrous sword-shaped leaves and flowers in tall spikes; some cultivated for ornament or for fiber
genus Agave - type genus of the Agavaceae; in some classifications considered a genus of Amaryllidaceae
References in periodicals archive ?
Paper 21 A preliminary study on the properties of agave cantala natural fibre -polypropylene composites
Natural fibers can be classified according to their origin and grouped into leaf: abaca, cantala, curaua, date palm, henequen, pineapple, sisal, banana; seed: cotton; bast: flax, hemp, jute, ramie; fruit: coir, kapok, oil palm; grass: alfa, bagasse, bamboo and stalk: straw (cereal).