• synonyms


[kar-uh b]
  1. a Mediterranean tree, Ceratonia siliqua, of the legume family, bearing long, leathery pods containing hard seeds and sweet, edible pulp.
  2. Also called St. John's-bread, algarroba, locust bean. the pod of this tree, the source of various foodstuffs, including a substitute for chocolate, as well as substances having several industrial uses, and sometimes used as food for animals.
  3. a powder made from the ground pods and seeds of this tree and used in cooking, especially as a substitute for chocolate.
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Origin of carob

1540–50; < Middle French carobe < Medieval Latin carrūbium < Arabic kharrūb bean-pods, carobs
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carob

Historical Examples of carob

  • "I think I remember a man planting a carob tree yesterday," he said.

    Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends

    Gertrude Landa

  • The Carob was cultivated in England before Shakespeare's time.

  • The Locust, or Carob Bean, is now largely used by the stock-feeder.

    The Stock-Feeder's Manual

    Charles Alexander Cameron

  • Their food was fruits, and nuts, wild honey and the carob bread.

  • The pulp of the pods of the Carob tree is eatable; but that of Poinciana is said to be injurious.

British Dictionary definitions for carob


  1. Also called: algarroba an evergreen leguminous Mediterranean tree, Ceratonia siliqua, with compound leaves and edible pods
  2. Also called: algarroba, Saint John's bread the long blackish sugary pod of this tree, used as a substitute for chocolate and for animal fodder
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Word Origin for carob

C16: from Old French carobe, from Medieval Latin carrūbium, from Arabic al kharrūbah
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 carob


1540s, from French carobe, ultimately from Arabic kharrub "locust bean pod" (also in Persian as khirnub), perhaps from Assyrian kharubu or Aramaic kharubha "carob tree, carob," related to Hebrew harubh.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper