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1. The root, bulb, or another plant part of several chiefly western North American plants, such as certain species of Agave,Chlorogalum, and Yucca, used as a substitute for soap.
2. A plant so used.
[American Spanish, from Nahuatl amolli.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Plants) the root, bulb or other part of several mainly western North American plants, such as the agave and yucca, used as a substitute for soap
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. -les.
1. the root of any of several plants, as Mexican species of agaves, used as a substitute for soap.
2. any such plant itself.
[1830–35; < Mexican Spanish < Nahuatl ahmōlli soap]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.