A very tall tropical American tree from which kapok is obtained, with lightweight yellowish or pinkish timber. It is pollinated by bats and was held sacred by the Maya.Also called kapok
- ‘The book is about two taxa: the live oaks that dominate the coastal Louisiana landscape and the ceibas, the signature tree of the Guatemalan lowlands.’
- ‘Just before he falls asleep he remembers a vast expanse of sugar cane, he remembers the still air, the sun beating down on the red earth and far off in the distance a ceiba tree that was haunted by the spirits of murdered slaves.’
- ‘The tree most often used for these rituals is the ceiba, known as nkunia nsambi, the branch of god (nsambi).’
- ‘Except for two years with the Cuban army in Angola, he has spent his life here, exploring every ceiba tree of the Caribbean's largest wetland.’
- ‘The rusting set of free weights is scattered under a ceiba tree.’
Early 19th century: via Spanish from Taino, literally giant tree.