Definition of sapodilla in US English:



  • 1A large evergreen tropical American tree which has edible fruit and hard durable wood and yields chicle.

    Manilkara zapota, family Sapotaceae

    • ‘The sapodilla tree is notoriously slow growing, but it can reach heights of 60 to 100 feet with a large spread.’
    • ‘It introduces, maintains, characterizes, and evaluates germplasm collections of banana, plantain, sapodilla, mamey sapote, cacao, Garcinia, Annona, and bamboo.’
    • ‘The house, erected across four thick branches of a towering sapodilla tree is hidden among its lush, green leaves.’
    • ‘The genus Madhuca belongs to the same family as the sapodilla, and some species have edible, although poor, fruits.’
    • ‘All the sculptures on display are made of wood of different types: jackfruit wood, sapodilla wood, longan wood and the durable teakwood.’
    1. 1.1 The sweet, brownish, bristly fruit of the sapodilla tree.
      • ‘Firm sapodillas are unripe and guarantee a nasty, tongue-curling experience for the eater due to a high tannin content.’
      • ‘If you are growing custard apples, bananas, sapodillas and carambolas, they could all do with a dressing of citrus and fruit tree fertiliser spread evenly around under the leaf canopy.’
      • ‘There are zapotes, the sapodilla plums from which the Aztecs and others derived their word for the Zapotecs (a people properly known, in their own language, as the ‘Biniza’).’


Late 17th century: from Spanish zapotillo, diminutive of zapote, from Nahuatl tzápotl.