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ebony

ebony, common name for members of the Ebenaceae, a family of trees and shrubs widely distributed in warmer climates and in the tropics. The principal genus, Diospyros, includes both ebony and persimmon trees. Ebony wood, valued from ancient times, is hard and dark; it is extensively used for piano keys and in cabinetmaking, especially the black Macassar ebony of India and the East Indies. Several species (notably D. hirsuta) that have wood striped with black or with shades of brown are called calamander wood or variegated ebony. Several other unrelated hardwoods are commonly called ebony. Of the many species in the family bearing edible fruit, the best known are the persimmons. D. virginiana is native in the United States E of the Mississippi. The Japanese persimmon (D. kaki) is cultivated in Japan and China, in the Mediterranean area, and in the warmer regions of the United States. The unripe fruit contains tannic acid, a powerful astringent. Soft and pulpy when ripe, persimmons are difficult to market. Large quantities are eaten on the tree by opossums, whence the name possumwood for the tree. Persimmon wood has a limited use in the manufacture of objects (e.g., golf club heads) requiring hard wood. The ebony family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, order Ebenales, class Magnoliopsida.

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ebony

eb·on·y / ˈebənē/ • n. heavy blackish or very dark brown timber from a mainly tropical tree (genera Diospyros and Euclea, family Ebenaceae). ∎  a very dark brown or black color. ORIGIN: late Middle English: from earlier ebon (via Old French and Latin from Greek ebenos ‘ebony tree’.

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ebony

ebony XVI (hebeny). Preceded by †eban (XV) — OF. eban (also ebaine, mod. ébène) — medL. ebanus, var. of L. (h)ebenus — Gr. ébenos ebony tree, of Sem. orig.; later ebon (XVI), latinized (h)eben, which was superseded by forms with -y, perh. after ivory.

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ebony

ebony Hard, fine-grained dark heartwood of various Asian and African trees of the genus Diospyros in the ebony family (Ebenaceae). Its major commercial tree is the macassar ebony (D. ebenum) of s India and Malaysia. It is valued for woodcarving, cabinetwork, and parts of musical instruments.

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ebony

ebony a heavy blackish or very dark brown wood, traditionally taken as the type of intense blackness. The name is recorded from late Middle English and comes from earlier ebon (via Old French and Latin from Greek ebenos ‘ebony tree’), perhaps on the pattern of ivory.

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ebony

ebony See DIOSPYROS.

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ebony

ebonyLéonie, peony •Tierney •Briony, bryony, Hermione •tourney • ebony • Albany •chalcedony • Alderney •Persephone, Stephanie, telephony •antiphony, epiphany, polyphony, tiffany •symphony •cacophony, homophony, theophany, Zoffany •euphony • agony • garganey •Antigone •cosmogony, mahogany, theogony •balcony • Gascony • Tuscany •calumny •felony, Melanie, miscellany •villainy • colony •Chamonix, salmony, scammony, Tammany •harmony •anemone, Emeny, hegemony, lemony, Yemeni •alimony, palimony •agrimony • acrimony •matrimony, patrimony •ceremony • parsimony • antimony •sanctimony • testimony • simony •Romany • Germany • threepenny •timpani • sixpenny • tuppenny •accompany, company •barony • saffrony • tyranny •synchrony • irony • saxony • cushiony •Anthony • betony •Brittany, dittany, litany •botany, cottony, monotony •gluttony, muttony •Bethany • oniony • raisiny •attorney, Burney, Czerny, Ernie, ferny, gurney, journey, Verny

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