[bey-oh-bab, bah-oh-, bou-bab]
- any large tree belonging to the genus Adansonia, of the bombax family, especially A. digitata, which is native to tropical Africa, has an exceedingly thick trunk, and bears a gourdlike fruit.
Origin of baobab
First recorded in 1630–40, baobab is from the New Latin word bahobab, first cited in a description of the tree's fruit by Italian physician and botanist Prospero Alpini (1553–1616 or 17); origin obscure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for baobab
The baobab is indisputably the monarch of African trees, p. 41.Perils and Captivity
Charlotte-Adlade [ne Picard] Dard
In the little house of the baobab, the attic was full of these glorious trophies.
In front of the house of the baobab there were two large handcarts.
The scenery was varied by thickets of mimosas, with here and there a baobab or a tamarisk.Some Heroes of Travel
W. H. Davenport Adams
Adansonia digitata, a species of Baobab (Order, Stercubace).The Desert World
- a bombacaceous tree, Adansonia digitata, native to Africa, that has a very thick trunk, large white flowers, and a gourdlike fruit with an edible pulp called monkey breadAlso called: bottle tree, monkey bread tree
C17: probably from a native African word
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
Word Origin and History for baobab
1630s, from Medieval Latin bahobab (1590s), apparently from a central African language.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper