from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An African hardwood tree, Baphia nitida, that is a form of sandalwood

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See barwood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dyewood closely allied to bar-wood, from the same region, and apparently the product of another species of Baphia.

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

  • n. small shrubby African tree with hard wood used as a dyewood yielding a red dye


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • "The story of Bunce Island began in the seventeenth century, when English traders arrived at the Sierra Leone coast to buy ivory, as well as camwood, a tree used to make red dye. In 1663, King Charles II charterd a company called the Royal Adventurers of England Trading into Africa, with instructions to imitate the Dutch and Portuguese, that is, to buy people in addition to timber. The company put up two forts, but when one of them was seized by a Dutch admiral, the English moved to what was then known as Bence (or Bense) Island, probably after a squire named Bence, who had links to the London firm. The spelling of the place would later change to 'Bance,' still later, to 'Bunce.'"

    —Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 427

    October 13, 2009