\ ˈa-ˌkē How to pronounce ackee (audio) , a-ˈkē\
variants: or less commonly

Definition of ackee

: the fruit of an African tree (Blighia sapida) of the soapberry family grown in the Caribbean area, Florida, and Hawaii for its white or yellowish fleshy aril that is edible when ripe but is poisonous when immature or overripe and that has a toxic pink raphe attaching the aril to the seed also : the tree

Examples of ackee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The inspector dropped a stop-sale on porridge, ackee, cooked banana and lettuce for being kept at an improper temperature. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Was your restaurant food surrounded by rat poop? If you ate here, it was," 12 July 2018

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

First Known Use of ackee

1794, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ackee

probably borrowed from a Twi word, or from a related loanword in another West African language

Note: G. A. Christaller, Dictionary of the Asante and Fante Language Called Tshi (Twi), 2nd edition (Basel, 1933), has the following entries: àŋkyẽ, áŋkyẽ "a kind of wild cashew tree; its fruits (they are eaten by the Krobos)"; akyẽ́à "cashew nut; Gã: atĩa." It is uncertain if Christaller's "wild cashew tree" should be equated with Blighia sapida, which does not have the cashew's distinctive drupe and accessory fruit. The etymology "Kru ā-kee," which appears in several dictionaries (as Cassidy and Le Page, Dictionary of Jamaican English, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 1980) is based ultimately on Merriam-Webster's second unabridged dictionary (Webster's New International of 1934). The Merriam-Webster files contain an unattributed note that is apparently the source of this etymology: "This seems to be the Kru word 'ā-kee' which is used for a tree yielding an excess of sap but its exact botanical name is not certain." Lorenzo Turner, the African etymologist for Merriam-Webster's 3rd unabridged dictionary (1961), retained the "Kru" etymology but noted that he could not confirm it. As Kru is now understood to be a family of more than twenty languages, its application here is not known.

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The first known use of ackee was in 1794

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Medical Definition of ackee

variant of

More from Merriam-Webster on ackee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ackee Encyclopedia article about ackee

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to corrupt or become corrupted

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