from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera) of western Asia and northern Africa that is cultivated also in the United States, South Asia, and Australia, having large pinnate leaves and bearing clusters of dates.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The common name of Phœnix dactylifera, the palm-tree of Scripture: also called date-tree.
  • noun The date-palm, introduced by the Mission Fathers and by American pioneers, has long existed in California, but in inferior seedling varieties. Good varieties have recently been introduced by the United States Government under auspices promising commercial success over limited areas in Arizona and California. The date-palm, to mature fruit, requires long-continued heat and dry air above, with an abundance of water at the roots, and is thus suited to hot deserts reclaimed by irrigation. It will bear alkali in the soil and will endure more frost than the orange, but less than the peach. It is diœcious and in culture is usually pollinated artificially, one male tree sufficing for a hundred female. The varieties do not breed true by seed and are propagated by the suckers or offshoots put forth from the base of young trees. The tree dies if the terminal bud is destroyed. The plantations in the Sahara form a shelter for many-fruit-trees which could not otherwise be grown. The fruits as grown by the Arabs are of three principal types, viz. soft dates (those known to the American market), which are very sugary; similar dates, but with a much lower sugar-content, usually eaten fresh from the tree; and dry dates, which are not at all sticky, are picked up as they fall, and are regarded by the Arabs as much better for food than the soft dates. One of the best of in-numerable named varieties is the deglet tutor. Some good seedling varieties have been developed in the south-western United States.

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

  • noun A palm tree, Phoenix dactylifera, whose fruit is the date.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun tall tropical feather palm tree native to Syria bearing sweet edible fruit


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