Kentucky coffee tree


: a tall North American tree (Gymnocladus dioica) of the legume family with bipinnate leaves and large woody brown pods whose seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee

Examples of Kentucky coffee tree in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tree varieties for that project include tulip, Kentucky coffee tree, black gum, London planetree, linden, hornbeam, yellowwood, magnolia, redbud and honey locust. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 8 Apr. 2022 The city’s spring list of authorized trees includes the shingle oak, Kentucky coffee tree, Hackberry, hybrid elm, tulip tree, plane-tree, Japanese tree lilac, silver linden, chinquapin oak, crabapple, American linden, red oak, swamp white oak and heritage oak. Suzanne Baker,, 16 July 2021 Our fall color standouts tend to be Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioicus), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) all of which are fantastic fall color trees, but none of them show up in sufficient density for a screen-saver-worthy aerial photo. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 16 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Kentucky coffee tree.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Kentucky coffee tree was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near Kentucky coffee tree

Cite this Entry

“Kentucky coffee tree.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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