• synonyms


[koh-kuh-nuht, -nuh t]
  1. coconut.
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[koh-kuh-nuht, -nuh t]
  1. the large, hard-shelled seed of the coconut palm, lined with a white edible meat, and containing a milky liquid.
  2. the meat of the coconut, often shredded and used in cooking, as a flavoring, and as a dessert topping.
  3. coconut palm.
  4. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a person of color, especially a person of Latin-American or South Asian origin or descent, who is regarded as having adopted the attitudes, values, and behavior thought to be characteristic of middle-class white society, at the expense of his or her ethnic heritage.Compare Oreo.
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Sometimes co·coa·nut.

Origin of coconut

First recorded in 1605–15; coco + nut
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cocoanut

Historical Examples

  • He thought that, at last, he had reached the milk in the cocoanut.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It is lined with cocoanut matting and had taken no impression of any kind.

  • Each one of the cocoanut trees in our garden had for me a distinct personality.

    My Reminiscences

    Rabindranath Tagore

  • If there is a Deshmukh3 of the village, a cocoanut and betel-leaf are also given to him.

  • The cocoanut is largely used for culinary purposes in the Islands.

British Dictionary definitions for cocoanut



  1. the fruit of the coconut palm, consisting of a thick fibrous oval husk inside which is a thin hard shell enclosing edible white meat. The hollow centre is filled with a milky fluid (coconut milk)
    1. the meat of the coconut, often shredded and used in cakes, curries, etc
    2. (as modifier)coconut cake
  2. slang, derogatory a black or Asian person who conforms to white culture at the expense of his or her ancestral culture, the idea being that, like a coconut, he or she is dark on the outside and white on the inside
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Word Origin

C18: see coco
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 cocoanut



1610s, from coco + nut. Meaning "the head" is slang from 1834.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper