Definition of sandalwood in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsandlˌwo͝od/


(also white sandalwood)
1A widely cultivated Indian tree that yields fragrant timber and oil.
  • Santalum album, family Santalaceae.
Example sentences
  • Sitting in the centre of Wanfuge, the largest pavilion, is a 26-metre statue of Maitreya, Buddha of the Future, carved out of a single trunk of a white sandalwood tree.
  • A tall sandalwood tree, the transverse section of a teak trunk and the colossal egg of an ostrich are some of the other fascinating exhibits.
  • But after the felling of a sandalwood tree inside the GNP, the authorities have decided not to allow the mahout and the animal into the park.
1.1A perfume or incense derived from sandalwood.
Example sentences
  • Perfumed with incense and sandalwood and synonymous with soap and silk, it is among the most beautiful cities in the country.
  • A perfume, maybe sandalwood, floats in this Aladdin's cave, with every surface covered by carpets and embroidered fabrics, wood and stone sculptures.
  • The smell of incense and sandalwood pervades the air as one walks into the Pudu Mandapam, opposite the Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple.
1.2Used in names of other trees that yield timber similar to sandalwood, e.g., red sandalwood.
Example sentences
  • Laboratory rodents have been tortured and destroyed in the name of Australian sandalwood, and yet the aromatic is an ingredient in certain ‘cruelty free’ cosmetics sold in the USA and Australia!
  • An S-shaped chopsticks rack made from red sandalwood is a symbol of good luck.
  • Most furniture was made out of hardwood, for example, red sandalwood or walnut.


Early 16th century: sandal from medieval Latin sandalum (based on Sanskrit candana) + wood.

  • The name of this Indian tree and its fragrant timber and oil has no connection with sweaty feet and sandals. It is based on candana, a word in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, which passed into Latin as sandalum. Our word sandal came instead from Greek sandalon ‘wooden shoe’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: san·dal·wood

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