agar·​wood | \ ˈa-gər-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce agarwood (audio) , ˈä- \

Definition of agarwood

: the soft, dark heartwood that is produced by any of various southeast Asian evergreen trees (genus Aquilaria, especially A. malaccensis synonym A. agallocha) when they become infected with a fungus and that contains a fragrant resin used chiefly to produce incense, perfumes, and traditional medicines With prices for noncultivated agarwood rising to $10,000 a kilo, few local shopkeepers welcome mere browsers.— Jennifer Gampell

called also aloes, aloeswood, eaglewood

First Known Use of agarwood

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agarwood

agar- (borrowed from Hindi agar "the tree Aquilaria malaccensis or its wood," going back to Sanskrit aguruḥ, agaruḥ, probably borrowed from a Dravidian source—whence Tamil & Malayalam akil, name for Aquilaria malaccensis) + wood entry 1

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The first known use of agarwood was in 1930

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Cite this Entry

“Agarwood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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