noun, plural pal·met·tos, pal·met·toes.

  1. any of various palms having fan-shaped leaves, as of the genera Sabal, Serenoa, and Thrinax.

noun plural -tos or -toes

  1. any of several small chiefly tropical fan palms, esp any of the genus Sabal, of the southeastern USSee also cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto
  2. any of various other fan palms such as palms of the genera Serenoa, Thrinax, and Chamaerops

n.1580s, from Spanish palmito “dwarf fan palm tree,” diminutive of palma “palm tree,” from Latin palma (see palm (n.2)). The suffix was subsequently Italianized. The Palmetto Flag was an emblem of South Carolina after secession (1860); the state was called Palmetto State from at least 1837.

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