- See under sandalwood(def 3).
Origin of red sandalwood
- the fragrant heartwood of any of certain Asian trees of the genus Santalum, used for ornamental carving and burned as incense.
- any of these trees, especially S. album (white sandalwood), an evergreen of India, having ovate leaves and yellowish flowers that turn red.
- any of various related or similar trees or their woods, especially an East Indian tree, Pterocarpus santalinus (red sandalwood), of the legume family, or its heavy dark-red wood that yields a dye.
Origin of sandalwood
- any of several evergreen hemiparasitic trees of the genus Santalum, esp S. album (white sandalwood), of S Asia and Australia, having hard light-coloured heartwood: family Santalaceae
- the wood of any of these trees, which is used for carving, is burned as incense, and yields an aromatic oil used in perfumery
- any of various similar trees or their wood, esp Pterocarpus santalinus (red sandalwood), a leguminous tree of SE Asia having dark red wood used as a dye
Word Origin and History for red sandal wood
1510s, earlier sandell (c.1400), saundres (early 14c.), from Old French sandale, from Medieval Latin sandalum, from Late Greek santalon, ultimately from Sanskrit čandana-m "the sandalwood tree," perhaps literally "wood for burning incense," related to candrah "shining, glowing," and cognate with Latin candere "to shine, glow" (see candle).