Definition of kapok in English:

kapok

noun

  • 1[mass noun] A fine, fibrous cotton-like substance which grows around the seeds of the ceiba tree, used as stuffing for cushions, soft toys, etc.

    • ‘In addition to these attributes the kapok fiber is totally water repellent and resistant to rot.’
    • ‘While still on the tree, the fruits burst open exposing the cotton like substance, which is the kapok of commerce.’
    • ‘Models will show off a range of garments made from hemp, nettle, flax, kapok, peat, bamboo, cellulose fibres and a new polymer made from starch called PLA, plus animal fibres including wool, angora, alpaca, mohair and llama.’
    • ‘Beneath the brown velvet of the seed capsules, a white kapok of cottony seed-parachutes packs the core.’
    • ‘He fetches his favorite toy, an ancient stinky ball of kapok and synthetic fur, cured and flavored by two years spent outdoors in all seasons.’
    • ‘‘The firm which makes them fills the stout canvas covers with kapok, a substance like silky cotton wool.’’
    • ‘The material kapok, the soft fibrous covering of the seeds of a tropical tree, is familiar as a lining and stuffing material.’
    • ‘Indeed, the very material used by British teddy-bear manufacturers in the 1920s and 1930s was kapok, a cotton-like material that was lighter, softer and more hygienic than wood shavings, cork or horsehair.’
    • ‘Some even of these - like jute, sisal, coir, and kapok - only began to be imported into Britain from the nineteenth century onwards.’
    • ‘The nice thing about kapok is that you can refluff it every once in a while to keep its original floatation.’
    • ‘When the pillow is kneaded a little, the thumb and forefinger will come right together if it's kapok.’
    • ‘The Carib Indians used kapok for drums and canoes but otherwise sheathed their axes in regard to the tree.’
    • ‘Nights of stuffing this sculpture with kapok, a new substance for the job, sent me into bouts of itching.’
    • ‘Youngsters may have heard of kapok fillings in various sports equipment and sleeping bags.’
    • ‘At the store my parents bought me a stuffed dog with a music box embedded in the kapok.’
    padding, wadding, lining, filling, quilting, cushioning, upholstery, packing, filler
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another term for ceiba
      • ‘If you want to see a beautiful kapok tree on St. John, one can be found on the Reef Bay Trail.’
      • ‘Now the hunt for more soaring specimens of kapok, wild ficus, Dead Man's Tree, and gnarled kenip continues, as efforts to save the trees gain steam.’
      • ‘As part of this showcase for sustainability, there are more than 10,000 plants from many climatic zones (including huge kapok trees, coconut palms and Saint Helena ebony, once thought extinct).’
      • ‘In the Virgin Islands the tamarind and the kapok are the two species most commonly held to be spirit trees.’
      • ‘The rectory blinked in amber glitters between a scraggly screen of kapok trees fronting it.’
      • ‘Cutting a kapok tree of that size is no easy task and the man soon tires and falls asleep at the base of the tree.’
      • ‘In many places the straight trunks of the kapok tree are used to make dugout canoes.’
      • ‘In addition, those strange looking boab trees, tall livistona palms, beautiful water lilies, colourful kapok bushes and kurrajong trees are all special sights across this unique landscape.’
      • ‘Dick studied the rainforest form of Ceiba pentandra, a species of kapok that grows taller than a 16-story building, its head poking above the forest canopy.’
      • ‘Because the unopened fruit won't sink when submerged in water, many believe the fruit of the kapok tree floated its way from Latin America to Africa.’
      • ‘Due to insect infestation, only thirty-two out of the 120 precious kapok trees along Chungcheng Road are still alive.’
      • ‘The kapok is a large, deciduous, tropical tree that has attractive leaves and clusters of yellow, white or pink flowers.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: from Malay kapuk.

Pronunciation:

kapok

/ˈkeɪpɒk/