also nicotin, poisonous volatile alkaloid base found in tobacco leaves, 1819, from French nicotine, earlier nicotiane, from Modern Latin Nicotiana, the formal botanical name for the tobacco plant, named for Jean Nicot (c. 1530-1600), French ambassador to Portugal, who sent tobacco seeds and powdered leaves from Lisbon to France 1561. His name is a diminutive of Nicolas (see Nicholas).
"small cigar made of finely cut tobacco," rolled up in an envelop of tobacco, corn-husk, or (typically) rice paper, 1835, American English, from French cigarette (by 1824), diminutive of cigare "cigar" (18c.), from Spanish cigarro (see cigar). The Spanish forms cigarito, cigarita also were popular in English mid-19c. Cigarette heart "heart disease caused by smoking" is attested from 1884. Cigarette-lighter is attested from 1884.