A genus of plants (order Amaryllidaceæ) 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.
- Any of numerous plants of the genus Agave, native to hot, dry regions of the New World and having basal rosettes of tough, sword-shaped, often spiny-margined leaves. Agaves are grown for ornament, fiber, and food. Also called century plant.