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Any of various durable fibers found in the phloem of certain plants, especially flax, hemp, and jute, used in making rope and baskets.
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.
2. Also called bast fiber. any of several strong, woody fibers, as flax, hemp, ramie, or jute, obtained from phloem tissue and used in the manufacture of woven goods and cordage.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English bæst, c. Middle Dutch, Old High German, Old Norse bast]
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