Definitions for tonka beanˈtɒŋ kə

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word tonka bean

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ton′ka bean`ˈtɒŋ kə(n.)

  1. the fragrant black seed of a tropical American tree, Dipteryx odorata, or related species: used in perfumes, as a source of coumarin, and as a vanilla substitute.

    Category: Plants

  2. the tree itself.

    Category: Plants

Origin of tonka bean:

1790–1800; prob. < Tupi tõka

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tonka bean, coumara nut(noun)

    fragrant black nutlike seeds of the tonka bean tree; used in perfumes and medicines and as a substitute for vanilla

  2. tonka bean, tonka bean tree, Coumarouna odorata, Dipteryx odorata(noun)

    tall tropical South American tree having pulpy egg-shaped pods of fragrant black almond-shaped seeds used for flavoring


  1. tonka bean(Noun)

    The black wrinkled seed of Dipteryx odorata, a neotropical legume tree, used as a perfume and vanilla substitute.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tonka bean

    the seed of a leguminous tree (Dipteryx odorata), native of Guiana. It has a peculiarly agreeable smell, and is employed in the scenting of snuff. Called also tonquin bean


  1. Dipteryx odorata

    Dipteryx odorata is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. That tree is native to Central America and northern South America. Its seeds are known as tonka beans. They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth, brown interior. They have a strong fragrance similar to sweet woodruff due to their high content of coumarin. The word "tonka" is taken from the Galibi tongue spoken by natives of French Guiana; it also appears in Tupi, another language of the same region, as the name of the tree. The old genus name, Coumarouna, was formed from another Tupi name for tree, kumarú.


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