: a tropical American tree (Anacardium occidentale of the family Anacardiaceae, the cashew family) grown for a phenolic oil and the edible kernel of its nut and for a gum from its stem; also : cashew nut
Origin of CASHEW
Portuguese cajú, acajú,
from Tupi akajú
First Known Use: 1598
cashew noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Edible seed or nut of Anacardium occidentale, a tropical and subtropical evergreen shrub or tree in the sumac family, native to tropical Central and South America. Important chiefly for its nuts, the tree also produces wood used for shipping crates, boats, and charcoal, and a gum similar to gum arabic. Related to poison ivy and poison sumac, it must be handled with care. The two-shelled nut is shaped like a large, thick bean. A brown oil between the two shells blisters human skin and is used as a lubricant and an insecticide and in the production of plastics. The nut is rich and distinctively flavoured.
Cashew apples (hypocarp) and nuts of the domesticated cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale).—W.H. Hodge
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