[mon-uh-see-oh; Spanish maw-nah-see-yaw]

noun, plural mo·na·cil·los [mon-uh-see-ohz; Spanish maw-nah-see-yaws] /ˌmɒn əˈsi oʊz; Spanish ˌmɔ nɑˈsi yɔs/.

a low shrub, Malvaviscus arboreus, of tropical America, having scarlet flowers and berrylike fruit that is sticky when young.

Origin of monacillo

< American Spanish, Spanish: literally, altar-boy, earlier monazillo, monaziello < Vulgar Latin *monachellus, equivalent to Late Latin monach(us) monk + -ellus diminutive suffix; see -elle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019