[ uh-nat-oh, uh-nah-toh ]

noun,plural an·nat·tos.
  1. Also called lip·stick tree [lip-stik tree] /ˈlɪpˌstɪk ˌtri/ . a small tree, Bixa orellana, of tropical America.

  2. Also ar·nat·to [ahr-nat-oh, -nah-toh] /ɑrˈnæt oʊ, -ˈnɑ toʊ/ . a yellowish-red dye obtained from the pulp enclosing the seeds of this tree, used for coloring fabrics, butter, varnish, etc.

Origin of annatto

Borrowed into English from Carib around 1675–85
  • Sometimes a·nat·to .

Words Nearby annatto Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use annatto in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for annatto



/ (əˈnætəʊ) /

nounplural -tos
  1. a small tropical American tree, Bixa orellana, having red or pinkish flowers and pulpy seeds that yield a dye: family Bixaceae

  2. the yellowish-red dye obtained from the pulpy outer layer of the coat of the seeds of this tree, used for colouring fabrics, butter, varnish, etc

Origin of annatto

from Carib

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