n. (Bot.) A treelike perennial herb (Musa paradisiaca) of tropical regions, bearing immense leaves and large clusters of the fruits called plantains. See Musa. The fruit of this plant. It is long and somewhat cylindrical, slightly curved, and, when ripe, soft, fleshy, and covered with a thick but tender yellowish skin. The plantain is a staple article of food in most tropical countries, especially when cooked.
- Plantain cutter, or Plantain eater (Zool.), any one of several large African birds of the genus Musophaga, or family Musophagidæ, especially Musophaga violacea. See Turaco. They are allied to the cuckoos.
- Plantain squirrel (Zool.), a Java squirrel (Sciurus plantani) which feeds upon plantains.
- Plantain tree (Bot.), the treelike herb Musa paradisiaca.
- n. (Bot.) Any plant of the genus Plantago, but especially the P. major, a low herb with broad spreading radical leaves, and slender spikes of minute flowers. It is a native of Europe, but now found near the abode of civilized man in nearly all parts of the world.
- Indian plantain. (Bot.) See under Indian.
- Mud plantain, a homely North American aquatic ...