[ kuh-kah-oh, -key-oh ]
/ kəˈkɑ oʊ, -ˈkeɪ oʊ /

noun, plural ca·ca·os.

a small tropical American evergreen tree, Theobroma cacao, cultivated for its seeds, the source of cocoa, chocolate, etc.
Also cocoa. the fruit or seeds of this tree.

Origin of cacao

1545–55; < Spanish < Nahuatl cacahuatl cacao seeds

Can be confused

cacao chocolate coca cocoa coke Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cacao

British Dictionary definitions for cacao


/ (kəˈkɑːəʊ, -ˈkeɪəʊ) /


a small tropical American evergreen tree, Theobroma cacao, having yellowish flowers and reddish-brown seed pods from which cocoa and chocolate are prepared: family Sterculiaceae
cacao bean another name for cocoa bean
cacao butter another name for cocoa butter

Word Origin for cacao

C16: from Spanish, from Nahuatl cacauatl cacao beans
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