cacao

noun
ca·cao | \kə-ˈkau̇, kə-ˈkā-(ˌ)ō\
plural cacaos

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 from which cacao is obtained

Illustration of cacao

Illustration of cacao

cacao 2

Examples of cacao in a Sentence

a farmer who grows cacao

Recent Examples on the Web

Chocolate meant a lot of things By the 1400s, cacao was much more than a delicious drink in Mesoamerica. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Think you know - and love - chocolate? Well, you don't know it all," 28 June 2018 Freidel says cacao was almost universally loved by the Maya. Joshua Rapp Learn, Science | AAAS, "The Maya civilization used chocolate as money," 27 June 2018 The tiny flowers may hold the key to making cacao trees more tolerant of weather extremes and more resistant to disease. Max Blau /, NBC News, "These scientists are on a mission to save chocolate," 30 Jan. 2018 The sweet potato’s powerful honey-like quality when roasted combines brilliantly with almond butter and raw cacao powder to create a rich, yet not-too-sweet square of heaven. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colorful vegetarian menu crosses bridge to spring," 7 Apr. 2018 The 450-acre new Timbers resort is nearing completion, and scrappy businesses, from bohemian boutiques to food trucks to a fledgling cacao industry, are sprouting. Martha Cheng, WSJ, "3 Perfect Days on Kauai: The Quintessential Hawaiian Island," 21 Mar. 2018 The sweetness came at a very high cost The exhibit also addresses how as the demand for cacao and sugar rose, millions of slaves harvested these ingredients. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Think you know - and love - chocolate? Well, you don't know it all," 28 June 2018 The Maya usually consumed their cacao as a hot drink, a steamy broth served in a clay cup. Joshua Rapp Learn, Science | AAAS, "The Maya civilization used chocolate as money," 27 June 2018 Acai bowl with house granola, coconut and cacao nibs at Yoko Matcha. Linda Bladholm, miamiherald, "Green tea drinks, desserts fuse Japanese and Latin at Yoko Matcha | Miami Herald," 9 Jan. 2018

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

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cacao

The first known use of cacao was in 1555

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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, 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, kə-ˈkā-(ˌ)ō \
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

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Comments on cacao

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