One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun The valuable timber of a tropical tree, resembling teak and used for furniture.
- ‘The need for wood trim on glass boats cannot be too highly stressed, in my opinion - the result is mahogany trim in the cabin, afrormosia handrails on deck and, perhaps most important of all, a varnished afrormosia sheerstrake and capping to set off the sheer.’
- ‘These new oils are used extensively in modern teak and afrormosia furniture, but the resultant finish hardly compares with the older process.’
- ‘Timbers are also prominent: English elm for the balcony boards and, for storage, afrormosia - a hard wood with a close grain similar to teak - and contribute a warm, natural feel to the interior.’
- ‘They made teak and afrormosia furniture in the 'sixties to a modern design.’
- ‘The aluminium balustrade with afrormosia handrail supports an angled hardwood book rest and the cast aluminium reading lamp, with a curved metal stem, springs from a hardwood post on the side.’
2The tree that yields afrormosia timber, occurring mainly in West Africa.
Genus Pericopsis (formerly Afrormosia), family Leguminosae: several species, especially P. elata and P. laxiflora
- ‘One such threatened species is the tropical hardwood know as afrormosia or African teak.’
- ‘Four years ago, the conglomerate was awarded a massive logging concession of more than 100,000 square miles just to the south of the town, and it is now felling the forest for the precious afrormosia tree - African teak.’
- ‘Pericopsis elata largely known as Assamela or Afrormosia, is a high tree, belonging to the Fabaceae family, often found in the semi-deciduous forest types.’
- ‘Also known as Afrormosia, Kokrodua and Assamela, the African teak (Pericopsis elata) has brown, green or yellow-brown bark.’
- ‘Afrormosia is an economically important timber species that is considered an excellent alternative to teak.’
1920s: modern Latin, from Afro- + the related genus name Ormosia, formed irregularly from Greek hormos ‘necklace’ (because necklaces were strung with the seeds).
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