cacao

noun
ca·​cao | \ kə-ˈkau̇ How to pronounce cacao (audio) , kə-ˈkā-(ˌ)ō \
plural cacaos

Definition of cacao

1 or cacao bean : a dried, fermented, fatty seed of the fruit of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae) that is used in making cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter : cocoa bean … polyphenols also make cacao beans taste astringent and bitter.— Patricia Gadsby
2 or cacao tree : a tree having small yellowish flowers followed by fleshy pods from which cacao is obtained Chocolate starts as the seeds in the fruits of the cacao tree, a tropical plant that produces flowers and fruit not at the tips of branches but on the trunk.— Kenneth Chang The cacao tree is native to the tropical countries of South America, but now grows in other parts of the world, notably Africa, the West Indies, and Central America.— Joanna Morris

Illustration of cacao

Illustration of cacao

cacao 2

Examples of cacao in a Sentence

a farmer who grows cacao
Recent Examples on the Web The eye-watering $491 price tag—or mouth-watering, depending on your budget—for a 50 g bar of To’ak Guayasamin Art Series is the result of a three-year ageing process of one of the rarest varieties of the Ecuadorian Nacional cacao bean. Ben Mccormack, Robb Report, 18 May 2021 Single origin Ecuadorian cacao is infused with a blend of adaptogenic herbs formulated by Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners to support specific functions. Anna Haines, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Good-quality cacao can be purchased online from bean-to-bar chocolate makers like Dandelion and Raaka, or from your local spice shop. Popular Science, 4 Mar. 2021 The cacao in their bars, which at a whopping 6.35 ounces are enormous compared to most of the other bars on this list, is responsibly and transparently sourced from cooperatives in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Mackenzie Chung Fegan, Bon Appétit, 2 Feb. 2021 But according to a 2018 report by the environmental group Mighty Earth, cacao production was still ravishing forests, and the animals living within them, at an alarming rate. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, 14 Feb. 2020 Guittard’s semi-sweet chips are a lovely exception, with 46 percent cacao and a subtle vanilla kick to them. Sunset Magazine, 25 Feb. 2020 Interestingly, cacao has always grown in a similar climate, and despite our modern day tendency to see them as inverses, vanilla was and continues to be a crucial part of making chocolate. Lior Lev Sercarz, Saveur, 3 Oct. 2016 Sun & Swell Foods has crisps made from cashews, sweet potato and flax, and cookies from dates, cashews, oats and cacao. Kavita Daswani, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of cacao

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cacao

Spanish, from Nahuatl cacahuatl

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Statistics for cacao

Last Updated

1 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cacao.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cacao. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for cacao

cacao

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cacao

: the dried seeds of a tropical tree that are used to make cocoa and chocolate

cacao

noun
ca·​cao | \ kə-ˈkau̇ How to pronounce cacao (audio) , kə-ˈkā-ō \
plural cacaos

Kids Definition of cacao

: a South American tree with fleshy yellow pods that contain fatty seeds from which chocolate is made

cacao

noun
ca·​cao | \ kə-ˈkau̇ How to pronounce cacao (audio) , kə-ˈkā-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce cacao (audio) \
plural cacaos

Medical Definition of cacao

1 : the dried partly fermented fatty seeds of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae) that are used in making cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter

called also cacao bean, cocoa bean

2 : a tree having small yellowish flowers followed by fleshy pods with many seeds that bear cacao

called also chocolate tree

More from Merriam-Webster on cacao

Nglish: Translation of cacao for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cacao

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