1. Any of various trees having soft lightweight wood, especially:
a. A deciduous shrub or small tree (Leitneria floridana) native to wet regions of the southeast United States.
b. See balsa.
c. Any of certain Australian shrubs or small trees of the genus Duboisia having leaves used for the commercial extraction of belladonna alkaloids.
2. The wood of any of these trees.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.