Definition of ebony in US English:

ebony

noun

  • 1Heavy blackish or very dark brown timber from a mainly tropical tree.

    • ‘The Indian furniture was usually of ebony, padouk, or rosewood with the floral borders and motifs either inlaid or engraved on ivory veneer.’
    • ‘Special attention was given to the altar screen, which is made using an extremely complicated technique of thin and delicately carved ivory, ebony and mahogany plates.’
    • ‘Fingering the silver skull on the top of his ebony walking stick, he waited.’
    • ‘One of the main features is the red ebony solid timber in the staircase and ground flooring.’
    • ‘The bed itself was framed in dark ebony, its dusky twists spiraling towards the ceiling, while the rest of the room was swathed in black and shades of maroon and blood red.’
    • ‘The table they had set up was dark ebony with rather comfy chairs surrounding it.’
    • ‘He was truthfully longing to sit in the King's throne, a large ornate thing, ebony and mahogany edged with gold and silver.’
    • ‘The grain-painted case imitates mahogany and ebony inlay, and the face is decorated with Masonic imagery.’
    • ‘Carved vines snaked their way up the posts, twining round the dark ebony.’
    • ‘Its paleness escapes looking bland thanks to contrasting inlays of ebony, walnut and amboyna, a wood distinguished by bird's eye curls.’
    • ‘Once in a while the really dense woods, such as boxwood and ebony can fool me, and I really have to work hard to tell the difference between Madasgar and Honduras rosewood.’
    • ‘It is usually much less ambitious and is most frequently found in small self-contained panels set within veneers of walnut, olive, or ebony.’
    • ‘Castings with a pedestal of ebony or mahogany add grandeur to the commission.’
    • ‘Before she left, she was given an array of presents from former students, including an ebony carving of a Masai family.’
    • ‘During Victorian times, the use of more exotic timbers like mahogany and ebony became popular, meaning trees were exported from Africa, Asia and the Americas.’
    • ‘He also incorporated decorative details such as string inlays of contrasting woods, usually holly and ebony.’
    • ‘The serving table, attributed to Thomas Seymour, is topped by two extremely rare American knife cases that employ charred poplar to simulate ebony.’
    • ‘The ebony veneered case was probably made by one of the other Flemish artisans active in Rome in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.’
    • ‘A young, auburn-haired woman sat in an ebony rocking chair.’
    • ‘Recorders are made from hardwoods such as maple, rosewood, or ebony as well as the plastic versions.’
    1. 1.1 A very dark brown or black color.
      as modifier ‘his ebony hair’
      ‘his smile flashed against the ebony of his skin’
      • ‘One of them had ebony black skin and a pierced ear.’
      • ‘The walls were stained with dark colors like crimson and ebony.’
      • ‘Blue eyeshadow painted her eyelids while dark ebony traced her closed eyes.’
      • ‘Donna was probably the third most beautiful with her ebony black hair and dark, mysterious eyes.’
      • ‘His eyes were blue and shone through a shock of thick ebony black hair.’
      • ‘Her ebony black hair was loose on her shoulders and I noticed that she wore no make up.’
      • ‘I'm that student with the blonde hair and stunning ebony black eyes.’
      • ‘A cape was draped upon his broad shoulders, a dark shade of ebony as well, in a circle around him reaching mid back and joined in the front by a large red jewel set in silver.’
      • ‘Even though all that could be seen of him was his light brown cloak, black scarf and icy ebony hair, the people staring at him had their shoulders tensed in hostility.’
      • ‘With his bright blue sapphire eyes and ebony black spiked hair he stunned the school's female population, excluding Amanda and her friends.’
      • ‘Jonathan strode in, his black cloak swirling around him, his dark ebony hair disheveled by the wind.’
      • ‘Most of their hair is dyed ebony black along with their fingernails.’
      • ‘She was a beauty at Nineteen with long black ebony hair, with silver high light that flowed down the center of her back stopping with a neat trim at her waist.’
      • ‘He was standing on the front step, his emerald green eyes once again veiled by his curtain of ebony black hair.’
      • ‘An elf entered the room - a tall elf in a robe of ebony with jet raven hair and black eyes appearing darker than even the room had felt.’
      • ‘It really stood out because of her ebony coloured hair.’
      • ‘She remembered the way he looked when she'd first met him-like a dark God, his ebony body tall and strong, hard and sweaty.’
      • ‘Strangely though, the child has ebony black hair… darker than his mother's.’
      • ‘The dark brown colour of his eyes matched his ebony hair.’
      • ‘One creature looked sort of elfish, except for its darker dark navy color that was almost ebony.’
      black, jet-black, pitch-black, coal-black, ink-black, black as night, black as pitch, sable, inky, sooty, raven, dark
      View synonyms
  • 2A tree of tropical and warm-temperate regions which produces ebony.

    Genera Diospyros and Euclea, family Ebenaceae: numerous species, in particular D. ebenum

    • ‘Many of the islands are mountainous and heavily forested with teak, ebony, and sandalwood.’
    1. 2.1 Used in names of trees of other families that produce similar timber, e.g., Jamaican (or American) ebony.

Origin

Late Middle English: from earlier ebon (via Old French and Latin from Greek ebenos ‘ebony tree’), perhaps on the pattern of ivory.

Pronunciation

ebony

/ˈɛbəni//ˈebənē/