Fibre made from the phloem of certain plants and used for matting and cord.
From Middle English bast, from Old English bæst, from Proto-Germanic *bastaz (compare the Swedish bast, Dutch bast, German Bast), perhaps an alteration of Proto-Indo-European *bʰask-, *bʰasḱ- (compare Middle Irish basc, Latin fascis, Albanian bashkë).
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