from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The dried aromatic inner bark of certain tropical Asian trees of the genus Cinnamomum, especially C. verum and cassia (C. aromaticum), often ground and used as a spice.
  • noun A tree yielding this bark.
  • noun A light reddish brown.
  • adjective Flavored with cinnamon.
  • adjective Of a light reddish brown.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tree of the genus Cinnamomum, especially C. Zeylanicum.
  • noun The inner bark ot Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.
  • Of the color of cinnamon; light reddish-brown.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The inner bark of the shoots of Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, a tree growing in Ceylon. It is aromatic, of a moderately pungent taste, and is one of the best cordial, carminative, and restorative spices.
  • noun Cassia.
  • noun (Min.) a variety of garnet, of a cinnamon or hyacinth red color, sometimes used in jewelry.
  • noun a colorless aromatic oil obtained from cinnamon and cassia, and consisting essentially of cinnamic aldehyde, C6H5.C2H2.CHO.
  • noun See Canella.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable A small evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka and southern India, Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum, belonging to the family Lauraceae.
  • noun Several related trees, notably the Indonesian cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii) and Chinese cinnamon or cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum or Cinnamomum cassia).
  • noun uncountable A spice from the dried aromatic bark of the cinnamon tree, either rolled into strips or ground into a powder. The word is commonly used as trade name for spices made of any of the species above. The product made of Cinnamomum verum is sometimes referred to as true cinnamon.
  • noun countable A yellowish-brown colour, the color of cinnamon.
  • adjective Containing cinnamon, or having a cinnamon taste.
  • adjective Of a yellowish-brown colour.

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

  • noun spice from the dried aromatic bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree; used as rolled strips or ground
  • noun aromatic bark used as a spice
  • noun tropical Asian tree with aromatic yellowish-brown bark; source of the spice cinnamon


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

[Middle English cinamome, from Old French, from Latin cinnamōmum, from Greek kinnamōmon, probably of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew qinnāmôn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin, from Ancient Greek κίνναμον, from Phoenician, cognate with Hebrew קִנָּמוֹן (qinnāmōn).


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  • Interesting usage/historical note on cinnamon used in burial rites in ancient Rome can be found on frankincense.

    Another one, unrelated (obviously) to burial rites, on Coca-Cola.

    Another on galbanum.

    As for how cinnamon was packed for long-distance transport/trade, see note on fondaci. On its freshness, gum arabic.

    December 2, 2016

  • "As angels have wings and saints haloes, so the pagan gods of love had cinnamon."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 209

    December 5, 2016