Definition of cashew in English:



  • 1An edible kidney-shaped nut, rich in oil and protein, which is roasted and shelled before it can be eaten. Oil is extracted from the shells and used as a lubricant and insecticide and in the production of plastics.

    • ‘If you wanted to impart extra flavour to the cashews, you could roast them beforehand, and don't worry if you haven't got a wok, just do it in a roasting tray on top of the gas-ring burners.’
    • ‘At night animals came out from behind the trees and destroyed the farmers' cassava, maize and cashew nut crops.’
    • ‘Unroasted nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts make an ideal snack food for would-be slimmers keen to get cracking.’
    • ‘Export of cashew nut shell liquid has also shown an increase.’
    • ‘Peanut flour is a cheaper alternative to almond or cashew nut powder and I know that many take-away outlets are now using it.’
    • ‘Some authors have suggested that their flavour and texture are comparable with those of the chestnut or cashew nut.’
    • ‘Eat moderate amounts of nuts that are rich in monounsaturated fat, like hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.’
    • ‘The prices of jute, potato, soyabean, cashew nut, pepper, rubber, green tea leaves, coconut, groundnut and coffee have fallen sharply.’
    • ‘Similarly, utilisation of the cashew nut produced in Western Province has not yet been fully realised.’
    • ‘For 15, 50 cashew nut tree seedlings will be sent to a family in Ecuador, a country which saw one third of its cashew nut trees destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.’
    • ‘Switch almonds with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.’
    • ‘Daughter decided this creamy curry with a cashew nut base looked more tempting than the meal she ordered but a mouthful later, decided otherwise. The extra dish had been prepared ‘hot’ and nearly sent her sky high.’
    • ‘The 60-year-old man, who had no history of nut allergy, suffered an anaphylactic reaction to a cashew nut just 25 days after he received the liver transplant.’
    • ‘The cashew nut pesto was lost in a cloying sea of sweet chilli syrup.’
    • ‘The bulk section was easy: four different choices of cashew nut, priced by the kilo.’
    • ‘The cashew nut processing industry is Mozambique's biggest industrial employer, with 10,000 workers.’
    • ‘Mix the cashew nut powder and saffron thoroughly ensuring there are no lumps left.’
    • ‘How she loved to crunch them; dry roasted peanuts, macadamias, cashews, pistachios, walnuts and Brazils.’
    • ‘The tree bark and leaves of the cashew tree are used medicinally, the roasted cashew nut has international appeal, and even the tough shell around the nut is used in local remedies - although carefully as the shell oil can be toxic.’
  • 2A bushy tropical American tree related to the mango, bearing cashew nuts singly at the tip of each swollen fruit.

    Also called acajou
    • ‘On the cashew tree outside the bedroom window, ‘the bell-shaped yellow fruits hung lazily, drawing buzzing bees that bumped against my window's netting.’’
    • ‘Mangoes come in hundreds of varieties and a wide range of shapes and sizes, and are distant relatives of cashews, pistachios, poison oak and poison ivy.’
    • ‘On the hills are cashew nut plantations suited to this dry type of soil.’
    • ‘Small bushy legumes were intercropped between the mango trees and cashews to fix nitrogen levels, add biomass and help keep the soil temperature down.’
    • ‘Further tests indicated the presence of resin from the terebinth tree, a Middle Eastern member of the cashew family.’
    • ‘Mango, cashew and baobab trees also encourage the production of honey which is sold to provide an income for the five villages involved in the project.’
    • ‘Head for the Kabini River Lodge, a picturesque estate full of cashew and gulmohar trees originally owned by the Maharajas of Mysore.’
    • ‘You'll carry your own gear as you pedal a hybrid bicycle through the mango orchards, cashew groves, and savannas of the Saloum River valley, bunking in small hotels and local villagers' homes along the way.’
    • ‘There are even agricultural islands solely for growing crops - yam, cassava, mango, cashews, coconut, sugarcane, sweet potato… just a tremendous variety.’
    • ‘Vaidya explains how jackfruit and cashews used to flourish, along with jungle fruits like custard apples.’
    • ‘He knows it is his most profitable crop, and he is planting 300 trees every year, but he also grows coffee, cashews, star fruit, oranges and coconuts.’
    • ‘Small-scale fences owned by individuals or co-operatives encircling irrigated crops or cash crops such as cashews and bananas are most likely to succeed.’
    • ‘In North America the flora consisted of a mixture of subtropical elements, such as cashews and lychee trees, with temperate trees such as roses, beech and pine.’
    • ‘Competing crops like maize and cashew, however, yield Rs 9,000 per hectare.’
    • ‘There were fruit trees surrounding the house, mangos, plums, cashew and many more.’
    • ‘Private inlets bookended by rough limestone headlands and edged by round-leafed cashew trees or palms are hidden behind unmarked turnoffs.’
    • ‘Poison ivy belongs to the Anacardiaceae or cashew family, which includes many other rash-causing plants such as poison oak and poison’
    • ‘Surrounded by plum, mango and cashew trees laden with fruit, the idyllic settlement with a spectacular view of the valley and sea seemed an unlikely stage for an action drama.’
    • ‘There was nothing on it but a little scrub, some casuarinas along the fence near the beach, and one big cashew tree.’
    • ‘We hiked up steep switchbacks between ancient samaan and banyan trees and clambered down gullies where razor grass spikes up high along the trail and mango and cashew trees form a fruitful canopy.’


Late 16th century: from Portuguese, from Tupi acajú, cajú.