ca·ca·o (kə-kou, -kāō)
n. pl. ca·ca·os
1. An evergreen tropical American tree (Theobroma cacao) having leathery, ellipsoid, ten-ribbed fruits borne on the trunks and older branches. Also called chocolate tree.
2. The seed of this plant, used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter. Also called cacao bean, cocoa bean.
[Spanish, from Nahuatl cacahuatl, perhaps from proto-Mixe-Zoque *kakawa; compare Mixe cacu and Zoque cacva (proto-Mixe-Zoquean perhaps being the language of the Olmec civilization and thus the ultimate source of many Mesoamerican cultural words).]
(click for a larger image)cacao
ripe cacao pods
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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