shea tree


ˈshē- How to pronounce shea tree (audio)
: a tropical African tree (Vitellaria paradoxa synonym Butyrospermum parkii) of the sapodilla family with fatty nuts that yield shea butter

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Hanahana provides health education to shea butter producers and farmers in rural communities across northern Ghana, as well as equipment improvements for production, and advocacy for shea tree protections. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 16 Mar. 2023 In fact, the storied history of this emollient — which comes from the nut of the shea tree, common in sub-Saharan Africa — apparently dates all the way back to Cleopatra herself, who was said to always keep a jar of it on hand. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, 1 Mar. 2022 The shea butter comes from two oily kernels within the shea tree seed. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 5 Apr. 2021 Shea butter is a seed fat that comes from the shea tree. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 5 Apr. 2021 Shea butter is a lipid that's produced from the nuts of the shea tree. Sabina Wizemann, Good Housekeeping, 28 Dec. 2020 In Northern Ghana, where much of the world’s shea butter is produced, collectives of women make a living by processing the nuts of the shea tree into butter. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appetit, 6 Feb. 2018 The Katariga women begin by buying shea nuts in bulk or collecting the shea nuts from dense forests of shea trees, then boiling them for about half an hour until their shells come off, as in the photo above. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appetit, 6 Feb. 2018 See More

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

Word History


Bambara si

First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shea tree was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near shea tree

Cite this Entry

“Shea tree.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love It or Hate It

  • heart-fire
  • When asked about her blind date, Carol spoke for hours with vitriol.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?