Definition of ceiba in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsābə/


A very tall tropical American tree from which kapok is obtained, with lightweight yellowish or pinkish timber. It is pollinated by bats and was held sacred by the Maya. Also called kapok.
  • Ceiba pentandra, family Bombacaceae.
Example sentences
  • The book is about two taxa: the live oaks that dominate the coastal Louisiana landscape and the ceibas, the signature tree of the Guatemalan lowlands.
  • Just before he falls asleep he remembers a vast expanse of sugar cane, he remembers the still air, the sun beating down on the red earth and far off in the distance a ceiba tree that was haunted by the spirits of murdered slaves.
  • The rusting set of free weights is scattered under a ceiba tree.


Early 19th century: via Spanish from Taino, literally 'giant tree'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cei·ba

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