Definition of monkey puzzle in English:

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monkey puzzle

Pronunciation: /ˈməNGkē ˈpəzəl/
(also monkey puzzle tree)


An evergreen coniferous tree with branches covered in spirals of tough, spiny, leaflike scales, native to Chile.
  • Araucaria araucana, family Araucariaceae.
Example sentences
  • Logging and agricultural development have reduced the distribution of Chile's famed national tree - the monkey puzzle tree - to three small areas of the country.
  • The stubborn resistance of the Araucanians, who lent their name to the monkey puzzle tree and delighted in its piñons, left a strong Indian influence.
  • The tree which was stolen was an araucaria, or monkey puzzle, which was planted in memory of Maurice by his family.


Mid 19th century: said to be so named in response to a remark that an attempt to climb the tree would puzzle a monkey.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mon·key puz·zle

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