ackee

noun \ ˈa-ˌkē , a-ˈkē \
variants: or less commonly
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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

Origin and Etymology of 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 "akindofwildcashewtree;itsfruits(theyareeatenbytheKrobos)"; akyẽ́à "cashewnut;Gã:atĩa." It is uncertain if Christaller's "wildcashewtree" should be equated with Blighia sapida, which does not have the cashew's distinctive drupe and accessory fruit. The etymology "Kruā-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: "ThisseemstobetheKruword'ā-kee'whichisusedforatreeyieldinganexcessofsapbutitsexactbotanicalnameisnotcertain." 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.


Medical Dictionary

ackee

ack·ee

medical Definition of ackee


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