American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various tropical Asian or African trees of the genus Diospyros.
- n. The wood of such a tree, especially the hard black heartwood of D. ebenum or certain other species, used in cabinetwork and inlaying and for piano keys.
- n. The hard dark wood of various other trees.
- n. The color black; ebon.
- adj. Made of or suggesting ebony.
- adj. Black in color.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name given to various woods distinguished in general by their dark color and hardness, and extensively used for carving, ornamental cabinet-work, instruments, canes, etc. The most valuable is the heart-wood of Diospyros Ebenum, which grows in great abundance in the flat parts of Ceylon, and is of such size that logs of its heart-wood 2 feet in diameter and from 10 to 15 feet long are easily procured. Other varieties of valuable ebony are obtained from
D. Ebenasterof the East Indies and D. melanoxylon of the Coromandel coast in Hindustan. The most usual color is black, but the ebonies from tropical America vary much in this respect. The green ebony of Jamaica, known also as American or West Indian ebony, the wood of a leguminous tree, Brya Ebenus, takes a beautiful polish, and is used for inlaying, making flutes, etc. The brown ebony of British Guiana, the source of which is uncertain, is dark-brown often with lighter streaks, very hard, and one of the handsomest woods of that country. The green or yellow ebony of French Guiana, the wood of Bignonia Leucoxylon, and the red ebony from the same region, are also very hard and heavy. Mountain ebony, of the East Indies, is the wood of Bauhinia variegata.
- Of ebony; made of ebony, or like ebony: as, an ebony cane; an ebony finish.
- n. A hard, heavy, deep black wood from various subtropical and tropical trees, especially of the genus Diospyros.
- n. A tree that yields such wood.
- n. A deep, dark black colour.
- n. slang A black key on a piano or other keyboard instrument
- adj. Made of ebony wood.
- adj. A deep, dark black colour.
- adj. Dark-skinned; black; especially in reference to African-Americans
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A hard, heavy, and durable wood, which admits of a fine polish or gloss. The usual color is black, but it also occurs red or green.
- adj. Made of ebony, or resembling ebony; black.
- adj. of a very dark black
- n. tropical tree of southern Asia having hard dark-colored heartwood used in cabinetwork
- n. a very dark black
- n. hard dark-colored heartwood of the ebony tree; used in cabinetwork and for piano keys
- Earlier hebeny, from Middle English ebenif, hebenyf (influenced by Late Latin hebeninus), from Ecclesiastical Latin ebenius ("of ebony"), from Latin hebenus ("ebon tree"), from Ancient Greek ἔβενος (ebenos), from Egyptian 𓍁𓈖𓏭𓆱 (hbny). (Wiktionary)
- Probably from Middle English hebenyf, ebony wood, from alteration of Late Latin hebeninus, of ebony, from Greek ebeninos, from ebenos, ebony tree, from Egyptian hbny. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It was fearfully swelled (in those days our coat-sleeves were made very large), and as black as ebony from the shoulder to the wrist.”
“A sumptuous Russian sleigh drawn by two splendid black horses, with a statuesque driver in ebony handling the ribbons, attracted the attention of the crowd as it dashed down the avenue and paused near the capitol steps.”
“They were like young and beautiful Dantes carved in ebony; Dantes unembittered by the world, unsicklied by the pale cast of thought, and glowing with the life of the warm South.”
“Interesting trees of the tropical quebradas include the toat-thorned acacia (tepemezquite), tree catclaw (tésota, guache), many other catclaws and gatuños (Acacia spp.), black tower (torote prieto), papelillos, mountain ebony, arborescent morning glory (palo santo or palo bobo), and pochotes.”
“Very little of the so-called ebony is genuine, most of the ebony of commerce consisting of fine-grained hardwood, stained black.”
“In two of the chapels there are some fine altar-pieces by Holbein and one of his scholars; and a very large crucifix of silver and ebony, which is kept with great care, is said to have been carried with the Crusaders to the Holy Land.”
“We were only there to exchange a shelf component - we'd grabbed "ebony" instead of "birch" - so I could appreciate the pathos of it all.”
“Chrysophyllum perpulchrum (Q) and Chidlowia sanguinea; and the 'Sassandrian' forest in the south-west, dominated by water-demanding species such as ebony Diospyros spp. and Mapania spp. with numerous endemic species, especially in the lower Cavally Valley and the Meno and Hana depressions near Mont Niénokoué.”
“An inventory, conducted using high resolution sonar - a technology used to locate objects underwater - has identified some 100 species of trees, including sought-after hardwoods such as ebony, teak and mahogany, all buried in the lake bed.”
“Shadow is described as an elf having masses of "ebony" hair all the way down to the floor, which she braids and coils about her head p.”
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Objects that are black, shades of lack, or something with blackness within.
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