[ san-dl-wood ]

  1. the fragrant heartwood of any of certain Asian trees of the genus Santalum, used for ornamental carving and burned as incense.

  2. any of these trees, especially S. album(white sandalwood ), an evergreen of India, having ovate leaves and yellowish flowers that turn red.

  1. any of various related or similar trees or their woods, especially an East Indian tree, Pterocarpus santalinus(red sandalwood ), of the legume family, or its heavy dark-red wood that yields a dye.

Origin of sandalwood

First recorded in 1505–15; sandal2 + wood1

Words Nearby sandalwood Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sandalwood in a sentence

  • Cynthia thought she liked it better than sandalwood and the pungent Oriental perfumes.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem | Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • He sent the amber to her in a sandalwood box cunningly carved and inlaid with ivory and ebony and silver.

  • The strange perfume was that of sandalwood oil, and he instantly realised what the circumstance meant.

    A Chinese Command | Harry Collingwood

British Dictionary definitions for sandalwood



/ (ˈsændəlˌwʊd) /

  1. any of several evergreen hemiparasitic trees of the genus Santalum, esp S. album (white sandalwood), of S Asia and Australia, having hard light-coloured heartwood: family Santalaceae

  2. the wood of any of these trees, which is used for carving, is burned as incense, and yields an aromatic oil used in perfumery

  1. any of various similar trees or their wood, esp Pterocarpus santalinus (red sandalwood), a leguminous tree of SE Asia having dark red wood used as a dye

Origin of sandalwood

C14 sandal, from Medieval Latin sandalum, from Late Greek sandanon, from Sanskrit candana sandalwood

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