1 [mass noun] edible starch which is obtained from a palm and is a staple food in parts of the tropics. The pith inside the trunk is scraped out, washed, and dried to produce a flour or processed to produce the granular sago used in the West.
(also sago pudding) a sweet dish made from sago and milk.
2 (sago palm) the palm from which most sago is obtained, growing in freshwater swamps in SE Asia.
Metroxylon sagu, family Palmae
any of a number of palms or cycads which yield a starch similar to sago.
mid 16th century: from Malay sagu (originally via Portuguese)