from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The seed of the ivory palm, having bony endosperm that is used as a substitute for true ivory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the nut of a species of palm, the Phytephas macroarpa, often as large as a hen's egg. When young the seed contains a fluid, which gradually hardness into a whitish, close-grained, albuminous substance, resembling the finest ivory in texture and color, whence it is called vegetable ivory. It is wrought into various articles, as buttons, chessmen, etc. The palm is found in New Grenada. A smaller kind is the fruit of the Phytephas microarpa. The nuts are known in commerce as Corosso nuts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The seed of Phytelephas macrocarpa, a low-growing palm, native of South America.

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

  • n. nutlike seed of a South American palm; the hard white shell takes a high polish and is used for e.g. buttons


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