Definition of cacao in English:


Line breaks: cacao
Pronunciation: /kəˈkɑːəʊ
, kəˈkeɪəʊ

noun (plural cacaos)

1 [mass noun] Bean-like seeds from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made.
More example sentences
  • This type of mole gets everyone excited because it's made with chocolate, but cacao is only one ingredient in the mix of four kinds of chillies and musky spices that create its distinct and complex flavour.
  • The mole chicken was pretty authentic, perfectly cooked white meat in a rich brown sauce of cacao mingled with spices.
  • To those fortunate people, the cocoa drink made from cacao was, as reflected in the genus name, indeed the ‘food of the gods.’
2The small tropical American evergreen tree which bears cacao seeds, now cultivated mainly in West Africa.
  • Theobroma cacao, family Sterculiaceae
More example sentences
  • The leaves of mangos and cacaos do the reverse, turning scarlet when they first sprout.
  • Wild cacao grew in many parts of tropical America, including the coast of what is now Ecuador.
  • But chocolate is manufactured from the cocoa plant Theobroma cacao, which literally translates as ‘food of the gods’.


mid 16th century: via Spanish from Nahuatl cacaua.

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