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Linum usitatissimum


a. A widely cultivated plant, Linum usitatissimum, having pale blue flowers, seeds that yield linseed oil, and slender stems from which a textile fiber is obtained.
b. The fine, light-colored textile fiber obtained from this plant.
c. Any of various other plants of the genus Linum or of other genera in the family Linaceae.
2. A pale grayish yellow.

[Middle English, from Old English fleax; see plek- in Indo-European roots.]

flax′y adj.
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.
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