Definition of mopane in English:

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Pronunciation: /mɒˈpɑːni/
(also mopani)


A tree found in arid regions of southern Africa, with bitter-tasting leaves that are shaped like butterfly wings and fold together in intense heat.
  • Colophospermum mopane, family Leguminosae.
Example sentences
  • Fried locusts were common before the advent of pesticides, and the brightly coloured mopane ‘worms’, which feed on the mopane tree, actually caterpillars of the emperor moth, are much eaten in season.
  • By daybreak, the elephants were gone, and in their place came a troupe of perhaps 60 baboons, some descending from the mopane trees to lift anything moveable.
  • Huge forests of acacia and mopani lie between the wetlands.


Mid 19th century: from Setswana.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mo¦pane

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