Definition of eucalyptus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌjuːkəˈlɪptəs/
(also eucalypt)

noun (plural eucalyptuses or eucalypti /ˌjuːkəˈlɪptʌɪ/)

1A fast-growing evergreen Australasian tree that has been widely introduced elsewhere. It is valued for its timber, oil, gum, resin, and as an ornamental tree. Also called gum1, gum tree.
  • Genus Eucalyptus, family Myrtaceae: numerous species.
Example sentences
  • Quick-growing wattles and eucalypts (gum trees) spread through the country for a multitude of uses on farms, mines, and railways and became a mark of habitation.
  • That is where you've got grazing land largely, and it appears that the woody vegetation, trees, eucalypts and acacias, native pines and other shrubs, are becoming denser and denser.
  • That explains our eucalypts and tea trees, with their large open flowers full of nectar.
1.1 (also eucalyptus oil) [mass noun] The oil from eucalyptus leaves, chiefly used for its medicinal properties.
Example sentences
  • Substances such as menthol, wintergreen oil, eucalyptus oil, or turpentine cause cool or hot sensations that can temporarily relieve or cover up pain.
  • These preparations may reduce coughing and usually contain menthol, camphor and eucalyptus oil.
  • One drop of peppermint, lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus oil can be diluted in a teaspoon of almond oil and then rubbed into the skin at the temples, neck or shoulder muscles and/or inhaled.


Modern Latin, from Greek eu 'well' + kaluptos 'covered' (from kaluptein 'to cover'), because the unopened flower is protected by a cap.

  • euphemism from late 16th century:

    This word is from Greek eu ‘well’ and phēmē ‘speaking’ from phēnai ‘to speak’, which is also where prophet (Middle English) came from. Several other English words start with eu meaning ‘well’. The eucalyptus tree (early 19th century) is literally ‘well covered’: it is so called because the unopened flower is protected by a sort of cap. If you give a eulogy (Late Middle English) you praise, or speak well of, someone: the -logy part, found in a great many English words, comes from Greek logos ‘speech, word, reason’. If something is euphonious (late 18th century) it is pleasing to the ear – phōnē ‘sound’ is the Greek root (the mid 19th-century euphonium, which not everyone finds pleasing, comes from the same word). Finally, euthanasia (early 17th century) is literally ‘an easy death’: thanatos is ‘death’ in Greek. The euro- in Europe and related words is unconnected. Europe is from Europa, the name of a princess of Tyre, in modern-day Lebanon, who was admired by the god Zeus. He turned himself into a bull and swam across the sea to Crete with the princess on his back. Once in Crete Europa bore Zeus three sons, and eventually gave her name to the continent of Europe.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: eu¦ca|lyp¦tus

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