1. the cherrylike fruit of a small tree, Malpighia glabra, of the West Indies and adjacent areas, having a high concentration of vitamin C.
  2. the tree itself.

Origin of acerola

1940–45; < American Spanish; Spanish: a species of hawthorn, Crataegus azarolus < Arabic al-zu"rūr the acerola
Also called Barbados cherry, Puerto Rican cherry. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for acerola


  1. a small tree or shrub, Malpighia glabra, that grows in the rainforests of N South America, Central America, and Jamaica
  2. the small, soft, bright red fruit of this tree, which looks like a cherry but has a sharp flavour
Also called: Amazon cherry

Word Origin for acerola

C21: from Portuguese
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012