from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A kind of mahogany, the wood of Cedrela fissilis: also applied to the true mahogany and other similar woods. See mahogany.
  • noun The fruit of the tree Anacardium occidentale. See cashew-nut, cashew-tree.
  • noun A gum or resin extracted from the bark of Anacardium occidentale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The cashew tree; also, its fruit. See cashew.
  • noun The mahogany tree; also, its timber.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The wood from the mahogany tree or other trees from the family Meliaceae.
  • noun A moderate reddish brown that is slightly yellower and stronger than mahogany acajou colour:    


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French, acajou ("cashew"), from Portuguese acaju, from Old Tupi acaju or agapú ("mahogany") or the same root as cashew.


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  • Newly arrived runaways had first to erase their past, mutilating their brands with knives or the juice of toxic plants—acajou or bresillet—that caused disfiguring welts.

    The Serpent and the Rainbow Wade Davis 1985

  • For these are rich; and the high solemnities of burial are theirs -- the coffin of acajou, and the triple ringing, and the Cross of Gold to be carried before them as they pass to their long sleep under the palms, -- saluted for the last time by all the population of St. Pierre, standing bareheaded in the sun ....

    Two Years in the French West Indies Lafcadio Hearn 1877

  • Puerto an old monastery was chosen for 'La Traviata:' the latter was realistic as Crabbe's poetry; even in bed the unfortunate 'Misled' one could not do without a certain truncated cylinder of acajou.

    To the Gold Coast for Gold A Personal Narrative in Two Volumes.—Volume I Richard Francis Burton 1855

  • At St. Domingo, it is considered as a species of _acajou_, [36] and they give it that name.

    Naufrage de la frigate la Méduse. English Jean Baptiste Henri Savigny 1818

  • As for the English word, OED2e records its root as French acajou and its first use as early as 1703.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XX No 1 1991

  • It is a fine medicine, and the sap of the tree produces a product like gum arabic, and is known in commerce as acajou. "

    The Wonder Island Boys: The Mysteries of the Caverns Roger Thompson Finlay

  • "My furniture," he recorded, "just from Paris, was acajou and white and blue horse-hair.

    Fifth Avenue Arthur Bartlett Maurice 1909


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  • Or the acajou boxes filled with little white packets like a village apothecary's cachets, wrapped in parchment covered with untranslatable ciphers . . .

    --Umberto Eco, 1988, Foucault's Pendulum, p. 14

    September 29, 2008