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kapok

[key-pok]
noun
  1. 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.
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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. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for kapok

kapok

noun
  1. 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
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for kapok

n.

1735, from Malay kapoq, name of the large tropical tree which produces the fibers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper