One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Black; (Botany) turning black with age.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Nugent (c1700–1772), writer and traveller. From classical Latin nigricant-, nigricāns blackish, swarthy, present participle of nigricāre to be blackish from nigr-, niger black + -icāre, verbal suffix. Compare Italian † nigricante, Portuguese nigricante.
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