a large East Indian tree, Tectona grandis, of the verbena family, yielding a hard, durable, resinous, yellowish-brown wood used for shipbuilding, making furniture, etc.
the wood of this tree.
any of various similar trees or woods.

Origin of teak

1665–75; earlier teke < Portuguese teca < Malayalam tēkka
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for teak

Contemporary Examples of teak

Historical Examples of teak

  • The vessel was built of teak, and had been a frigate in the Portuguese service.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Yucker Brothers had concessions and teak forests in the interior.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • It is very elastic and withstands the climate, when seasoned, as well as Teak.

  • The forest was open, and consisted of teak and cedar with but little undergrowth.

  • That figured (Fig. 12) is made by mounting a teak top 60 cm.

British Dictionary definitions for teak



a large verbenaceous tree, Tectona grandis, of the East Indies, having white flowers and yielding a valuable dense wood
the hard resinous yellowish-brown wood of this tree, used for furniture making, etc
any of various similar trees or their wood
a brown or yellowish-brown colour

Word Origin for teak

C17: from Portuguese teca, from Malayalam tēkka
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 teak

type of East Indian tree, 1690s, from Portuguese teca, from Malayam tekka, corresponding to Tamil tekku, Telugu teku, Kanarese tegu.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper