[ key-pok ]
/ ˈkeɪ pɒk /


the silky down that invests the seeds of a silk-cotton tree (ka·pok tree), Ceiba pentandra, of the East Indies, Africa, and tropical America: used for stuffing pillows, life jackets, etc., and for acoustical insulation.

Origin of kapok

1740–50; < Javanese (or Malay of Java and Sumatra) kapuk the name of the tree
Also called Java cotton.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for kapok


/ (ˈkeɪpɒk) /


a silky fibre obtained from the hairs covering the seeds of a tropical bombacaceous tree, Ceiba pentandra (kapok tree or silk-cotton tree): used for stuffing pillows, etc, and for sound insulationAlso called: silk cotton

Word Origin for kapok

C18: from Malay
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