ra·​ta | \ ˈrätə \
plural -s

Definition of rata

1 : a tree of the genus Metrosideros especially : either of two New Zealand timber trees (M. robusta and M. lucida)
2 : the hard dark red wood of a rata tree used by the Maoris for paddles and war clubs
3 [borrowed from Tahitian rātā] : polynesian chestnut

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History and Etymology for rata

borrowed from Maori rātā (going back to Polynesian *lata, *laataa name for Metrosideros or any of various other forest trees)

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Cite this Entry

“Rata.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rata. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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