from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A tropical South American tree (Dipteryx odorata) having pulpy, egg-shaped, one-seeded pods and fragrant seeds used as a substitute for vanilla and for flavoring tobacco and candies.
- n. The seed of this tree.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The black wrinkled seed of Dipteryx odorata, a neotropical legume tree, used as a perfume and vanilla substitute.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- The seed of a leguminous tree (Dipteryx odorata), native of Guiana. It has a peculiarly agreeable smell, and is employed in the scenting of snuff. Called also tonquin bean.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The seed of the cuamara, Dipteryx odorata, a tall tree of Venezuela, Guiana, and some neighboring regions.
- n. The tree producing the tonka-bean. See cuamara.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. tall tropical South American tree having pulpy egg-shaped pods of fragrant black almond-shaped seeds used for flavoring
- n. fragrant black nutlike seeds of the tonka bean tree; used in perfumes and medicines and as a substitute for vanilla
Perhaps from Galibi tonka.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)