Definitions of flax

  1. plant of the genus Linum that is cultivated for its seeds and for the fibers of its stem
  2. A plant of the genus Linum, esp. the L. usitatissimum, which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. The fiber of the bark is used for making thread and cloth, called linen, cambric, lawn, lace, etc. Linseed oil is expressed from the seed.
  3. The skin or fibrous part of the flax plant, when broken and cleaned by hatcheling or combing.
  4. A slender plant with blue flowers, from the fiber of which linen is made; the fiber of the plant ready to be spun.
  5. The common name of the plants of the genus Linum, nat. order Linaceae, and of the fibre produced from it. The species, of which there are nearly a hundred, are herbs or small shrubs, with narrow leaves, and yellow, blue, or even white flowers arranged in variously formed cymes. They occur in warm and temperate regions over the world. The cultivated species is L. usitatissimum. The fibre which is used for making thread and cloth, called linen, cambric, lawn, lace, etc., consists of the woody bundles of the slender stalks. The fine fibres may be so separated as to be spun into threads as fine as silk. A most useful oil is expressed from the seeds, and the residue, called linseed cake, is one of the most fattening kinds of food for cattle. The best seed comes from Riga and Holland.
  6. Vegetable fibres of which linen is made; plant producing these fibres.
  7. The soft fiber obtained from the bark of the flax- plant.
  8. An annual plant, the stalks of which yield a fibre which is used for making thread and cloth, such as linen, cambric, lawn, lace, & c.; the fibrous part of the plant when broken and cleaned. Flaxweed, a weed like flax. New Zealand flax or flax- lily, the phormium of naturalists, the leaves of which yield a very beautiful and strong fibre, used in the manufacture of ropes and other cordage.
  9. A plant; the prepared fibres or threads of the same which are made into linen cloth.
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