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[bey-oh-bab, bah-oh-, bou-bab] /ˈbeɪ oʊˌbæb, ˈbɑ oʊ-, ˈbaʊ bæb/
any large tree belonging to the genus Adansonia, of the bombax family, especially A. digitata, which is native to tropical Africa, has an exceedingly thick trunk, and bears a gourdlike fruit.
Origin of baobab
1630-40; < New Latin bahobab, first cited in a description of the tree's fruit by Italian physician and botanist Prospero Alpini (1553-1616 or 17); origin obscure Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for baobab
Historical Examples
  • The scenery was varied by thickets of mimosas, with here and there a baobab or a tamarisk.

    Some Heroes of Travel W. H. Davenport Adams
  • “Mowana” is the South African synonym for the “baobab” (Adansonia digitata).

    The Vee-Boers Mayne Reid
  • Neither Winthrope nor Blake was in sight when she reached the baobab, and neither appeared, though she delayed supper until dark.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • They followed close after Blake, around the monstrous bole of the baobab.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • When all had drunk their fill of the clear cool water, Blake took up his club and walked straight across to the baobab.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • Oh, but you surely will not stay so far from the baobab to-night!

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • Groping and stumbling, the two felt their way to the baobab, and Miss Leslie pushed Winthrope headlong through the entrance.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • At the baobab she turned and gazed back along the cliff edge.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • In the little house of the baobab, the attic was full of these glorious trophies.

    Tartarin de Tarascon Alphonse Daudet
  • But Blake was under the baobab, raking together a heap of rubbish.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
British Dictionary definitions for baobab


a bombacaceous tree, Adansonia digitata, native to Africa, that has a very thick trunk, large white flowers, and a gourdlike fruit with an edible pulp called monkey bread Also called bottle tree, monkey bread tree
Word Origin
C17: probably from a native African word
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
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Word Origin and History for baobab

1630s, from Medieval Latin bahobab (1590s), apparently from a central African language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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