co·​pal | \ ˈkō-pəl How to pronounce copal (audio) , -ˌpal; kō-ˈpal \

Definition of copal

: a recent or fossil resin from various tropical trees

Examples of copal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Porras-Kim’s sculpture was molded from a substance called copal, a tree resin used as incense in Mexico and Central America. Max Pearl, Vulture, 21 Dec. 2021 With the aroma of copal, the iconic pre-Columbian incense of choice in Tulum permeating the space, the ambiance is warm and inviting. Jamie Ditaranto, Travel + Leisure, 5 Aug. 2021 But there’s something even more lofty and purposeful about burning incense—which can come in the form of paper, sticks, cones, or nuggets of copal—and watching its ghostly wisps ride the air. April Long, Town & Country, 24 Mar. 2021 An Aztec dancer walked around blessing with copal the members of Najwa Dance Corps of Chicago, dedicated to reflecting the African American dance heritage; and the members of Example Setters, a Black youth poetry group. Laura Rodríguez Presa,, 9 Sep. 2020 The scents are something special: goji berry and orange, persimmon and copal, and lavender and cade. Popular Science, 17 Oct. 2019 The altars have traditions elements such as archways, candles, water, marigolds, incense and copal (tree resin), which are significant in welcoming and easing the way for spirits to come back and visit. Laura Latzko, azcentral, 17 Oct. 2019 The smokiness of ancient copal (once used by the Mayans as an energy cleanser) and the fresh scent of sabila (aloe vera, known for its regenerating powers) will permeate these memories; both are key ingredients in the hotel’s signature fragrance. Vogue, 31 May 2019 Search for organic facial sunscreen with pretty packaging, travel-size hand lotion from your favorite shop, and a pack of herbal incense, like Mexico’s treasured copal. Sara-mae Albert, ELLE Decor, 15 May 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of copal

1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for copal

Spanish, from Nahuatl copalli resin

Learn More About copal

Dictionary Entries Near copal

copaiyé wood



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for copal

Cite this Entry

“Copal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on copal Encyclopedia article about copal


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!