Definitions

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

  • n. A tropical American tree (Hippomane mancinella) having poisonous fruit and a milky sap that causes skin blisters on contact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tropical American tree, Hippomane mancinella, having apple-like, poisonous fruit, and a sap that causes blisters on contact with the skin

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A euphorbiaceous tree (Hippomane Mancinella) of tropical America, having a poisonous and blistering milky juice, and poisonous acrid fruit somewhat resembling an apple.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tree, Hippomane Mancinella, of moderate size, found in the West Indies, Central America, and Florida.

Etymologies

French mancenille, from Spanish manzanilla, diminutive of manzana, apple, from Old Spanish, from Latin (māla) Matiāna, (apples) of Matius, possibly after Caius Matius Calvena (fl. first century B.C.), Roman author of a cookbook.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish manzanillo, from manzana (apple), from Latin malum Matianum (a kind of apple). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Next to me on the rocks was my bottle of water, still almost full, my pile of manchineel apples, my purse, and my one shoe.

    SUSPICION

  • Because that is a manchineel tree, she said, looking me in the eye.

    Paradise Lost

  • He suffered from poison of another kind; for drinking at a spring in which some boughs of the manchineel had been thrown, the effects were so severe as, in the opinion of some of his friends, to inflict a lasting injury upon his constitution.

    The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson

  • In one of my excursions at this place I found a large manchineel tree.

    A Sailor of King George

  • Still weak from his illness after the manchineel poisoning, and exhausted as he was after a sleepless night in the grip of a hurricane, yet Stuart's first thought on leaving the hurricane wing was to get a news story to his paper.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas

  • "You went to sleep under the shade of some poison-trees, manchineel trees, we call them here," the doctor explained.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas

  • Lord Nelson, when a young man here in Barbados, was made very ill by drinking from a pool into which some branches of the manchineel had been thrown.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas

  • The salt ponds, sunken far below the level of the sea, from lack of rain, glittered white, but they were set with aloes and manchineel, and there were low and muddy flats to be avoided.

    The Conqueror

  • Selika thereupon magnanimously despatches them home in Vasco's ship, and poisons herself with the fragrance of the deadly manchineel tree.

    The Opera A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions of all Works in the Modern Repertory.

  • There is no trace of a town having ever existed here, for the poisonous manchineel tree has spread itself over the ruins, and it is difficult to realise that twenty years ago the pride of the French West Indies stood here.

    Here, There and Everywhere

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  • –noun
    a tropical American tree or shrub, Hippomane mancinella, of the spurge family, having a milky, highly caustic, poisonous sap.

    May 20, 2009