(Science: botany) a genus of plants (order Amaryllidaceae) of which the chief species is the maguey or century plant (a. Americana), wrongly called aloe. It is from ten to seventy years, according to climate, in attaining maturity, when it produces a gigantic flower stem, sometimes forty feet in height, and perishes. The fermented juice is the pulque of the Mexicans; distilled, it yields mescal. A strong thread and a tough paper are made from the leaves, and the wood has many uses.
Origin: L. Agave, prop. Name, fr. Gr, fem. Of illustrious, noble.