Definition of copal in English:


Line breaks: copal
Pronunciation: /ˈkəʊp(ə)l


[mass noun]
  • Resin from any of a number of tropical trees, used to make varnish: [as modifier]: copal varnish
    • The resin is obtained from trees in the families Leguminosae (genera Guibourtia, Copaifera, and Trachylobium) and Araucariaceae (genus Agathis)
    More example sentences
    • In one culture a shaman uses tobacco, sage or cannabis, in others copal, frankincense, sandalwood, cedar, juniper or pine.
    • Her breath reeked of scalded sugar, copal, and agave.
    • The book begins by defining amber and differentiating it from copal or more recent and, as yet, undistilled resin.


late 16th century: via Spanish from Nahuatl copalli 'incense'.

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