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[man-chuh-neel] /ˌmæn tʃəˈnil/
a tropical American tree or shrub, Hippomane mancinella, of the spurge family, having a milky, highly caustic, poisonous sap.
1620-30; earlier mancinell, mançanilla < French mancenille and its source, Spanish manzanilla, diminutive of manzana apple, Old Spanish mazana < Latin (māla) Matiāna (apples) of Matius Roman author of a cooking manual (1st century b.c.) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for manchineel
  • Large shade structures and manchineel trees provide ample shade.
  • manchineel has yellow-green leaves that have a distinct mid-vein and slightly serrated edges.
British Dictionary definitions for manchineel


a tropical American euphorbiaceous tree, Hippomane mancinella, having fruit and milky highly caustic poisonous sap, which causes skin blisters
Word Origin
C17: via French from Spanish manzanilla
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for manchineel

(Hippomane mancinella), tree of the genus Hippomane, of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), that is famous for its poisonous fruits. The manchineel is native mostly to sandy beaches of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Its attractive, single or paired yellow-to-reddish, sweet-scented, applelike fruits have poisoned Spanish conquistadores, shipwrecked sailors, and present-day tourists. The manchineel is a handsome, round-crowned tree that grows up to 12 m (40 feet) in height with a 60-centimetre- (2-foot-) thick trunk. It has long-stalked, lustrous, leathery, elliptic yellow-green leaves. The manchineel is so poisonous that smoke from its burning wood irritates the eyes, and latex from its leaves and bark causes skin inflammation. Carib Indians used the sap to poison their arrows. The fruit contains a hard stone that encloses six to nine seeds. The tree's wood takes a good polish and is used for making furniture.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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