One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun The hard red timber of an African tree.
- ‘The main imports from outside Bamenda are camwood; a little tobacco from the French Cameroons and Nigeria; kamwa or rock salt from Nigeria; and Hausa cloth.’
- ‘These examples were coated with sacrificial material, especially camwood.’
2Either of two trees of the pea family which yield camwood timber.
Baphia nitida and (now usually) Pterocarpus soyauxii (the African padouk), family Leguminosae
- ‘Indigo plants are used for deep blue dyes, while reddish brown dyes are extracted from cola nuts, the camwood tree, and the redwood tree.’
- ‘Many of Africa's rarest trees, such as mahogany, ironwood, camwood and mimosup, grow in this forest, that is connected to a larger forest area in neighbouring Cameroon.’
Late 17th century: probably from Temne k'am + wood.
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