One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun The hard red timber of an African tree.
- ‘These examples were coated with sacrificial material, especially camwood.’
- ‘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.’
2Either of two trees of the pea family which yield camwood timber.
Baphia nitida and (now usually) Pterocarpus soyauxii (the African padouk), family Leguminosae
- ‘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.’
- ‘Indigo plants are used for deep blue dyes, while reddish brown dyes are extracted from cola nuts, the camwood tree, and the redwood tree.’
Late 17th century: probably from Temne k'am + wood.
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