achi·​o·​te | \ ˌä-chē-ˈō-tē How to pronounce achiote (audio) \

Definition of achiote

: a spice made from the red seed of the annatto tree also : the seed from which the spice is made

Examples of achiote in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In his new home, Zuluaga tucks white sweet potatoes in a pan of hay before pureeing them for a haunting cheese soup, its surface an orange web of achiote oil. Washington Post, "Remember Blend 111? Forget its debut and feast on its much-improved second act.," 24 Dec. 2020 The pizza was a paler imitation, with achiote pork and pineapple, finished out with melted cheese, onions and cilantro. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Don’t bother with Grandpa’s Pizza’s assembly-line approach to pie," 14 Aug. 2020 Relax with a cocktail and the chicken inasal, a juicy Filipino prepartion with achiote and citrus. Janelle Bitker,, "6 San Francisco Bay Area restaurants that surpass coronavirus safety requirements," 3 Sep. 2020 Al pastor gets that signature red color from the achiote paste, the same ingredient used to make the pollos asados that are so beloved in San Antonio. Chuck Blount,, "Chuck’s Food Shack: How to make a DIY pork trompo al pastor at home on the grill or oven," 24 Aug. 2020 That achiote twang, that textbook char, that rough chop, that enigmatic green sauce. Mike Sutter,, "5 San Antonio pollos asados restaurants for great norteño-style Mexican grilled chicken," 30 July 2020 Then, the owners hope guests continue to share plates, transitioning into large-format dishes like rotisserie chicken, achiote roasted pork, fish a la plancha and more. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Long-awaited Mexican restaurant Tinie’s opens March 10 in up-and-coming Fort Worth neighborhood," 5 Mar. 2020 Also dug the citrus kicks on the cochinita pibil ($4.50) taco, with roasted pork shoulder, achiote, chiles anchos, sour orange and pickled red onions. Matt Wake |, al, "How this Mexican restaurant changes downtown Huntsville dining," 25 Feb. 2020 The traditional version — marinated in achiote paste and Seville orange juice — is slowly cooked for hours in a Mayan pib, an underground oven lined with hot stones. Janelle Bitker,, "Recipe: El Molino Central’s Cochinita Pibil," 17 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'achiote.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of achiote

1648, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for achiote

borrowed from American Spanish, borrowed from Nahuatl āchiotl "annatto tree"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about achiote

Time Traveler for achiote

Time Traveler

The first known use of achiote was in 1648

See more words from the same year

Statistics for achiote

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Achiote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

Comments on achiote

What made you want to look up achiote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!