Definitions

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

  • n. An evergreen tropical American tree (Theobroma cacao) having leathery, ellipsoid, ten-ribbed fruits borne on the trunks and older branches. Also called chocolate tree.
  • n. The seed of this plant, used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter. Also called cacao bean, cocoa bean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tree, Theobroma cacao, whose seed is used to make chocolate.
  • n. This tree's seed, the cocoa bean

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small evergreen tree (Theobroma Cacao) of South America and the West Indies. Its fruit contains an edible pulp, inclosing seeds about the size of an almond, from which cocoa, chocolate, and broma are prepared.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The chocolate-tree, Theobroma Cacao, natural order Sterculiace├Ž.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. tropical American tree producing cacao beans

Etymologies

Spanish, from Nahuatl cacahuatl.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via Spanish, from Nahuatl cacahuatl. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • a brief survey of the history of cocoa and chocolate, I shall begin with the growing of the cacao bean, and follow the _cacao_ in its career until it becomes the finished product ready for consumption.

    Cocoa and Chocolate Their History from Plantation to Consumer

  • Vinson said chocolate was given the name cacao, meaning "food of the gods."

    Crimson White RSS

  • After dinner a small piece of cheesecake made with real cacao is just perfect.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • (Only 5-10% of the world's cacao is good quality Criollo, or higher grade Trinitario, mostly single estate specialists.)

    Boing Boing: February 19, 2006 - February 25, 2006 Archives

  • Frequently hand-ground, cacao is combined with almonds, cinnamon and other ingredients to make what is generally acknowledged as the best chocolate in Mexico.

    The Cuisine of Oaxaca, Land of the Seven Moles

  • Although high in cacao, it retains an almost milk chocolate richness that imparts a creamy mouthfeel.

    Fiori Chocolatiers

  • I still haven't, ... architect, will make the place look like a walk-in cacao pod. i will soon probably also look like a walk-in cacao ... part as you will.

    fuse with your friends!

  • Among other beverages which have from time to time been produced from the cacao was a fermented drink much in vogue at the Mexican Court, to which it appears from the accounts of the conquest that Montezuma was addicted, as "after the hot dishes (300 in number) had been removed, every now and then was handed to him a golden pitcher filled with a kind of liquor made from cacao, which is very exciting."

    The Food of the Gods A Popular Account of Cocoa

  • In old manuscripts the word cacao is spelled in all manner of ways, but

    Cocoa and Chocolate Their History from Plantation to Consumer

  • The Aztecs prepared it as a hot, frothy, non-sweet, beverage that they thought had obroma cacao, is Greek for "food of the gods."

    ABC News: ABCNews

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