tam·​a·​rind ˈta-mə-rənd How to pronounce tamarind (audio)
: an African evergreen tree (Tamarindus indica) of the legume family that is widely grown in tropical regions and has hard yellowish wood, pinnate leaves, red-striped yellow flowers, and an edible fruit
: the fruit of the tamarind tree consisting of an oblong brown pod containing 1 to 12 flat seeds embedded in a brownish, sticky, acidic pulp which is used especially in preserves and pastes and to flavor foods and beverages

Illustration of tamarind

Illustration of tamarind

Examples of tamarind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pandan leaves impart a subtle vanilla-coconut note to an Old-Fashioned made with aged rum and creme de banana, and tamarind is the sweet-sour punch in a smoky-with-mezcal twist on a margarita, its rim red with salted tomato. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 San Ángel offers strawberry and tamarind as well, and even frozen versions, but the classic margarita is by far the best seller. Jorge Valencia Mariano Fernandez, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2023 It’s richly flavored with the shrimpy funk of fish sauce and the tangy, citrus-y sweetness of the fresh tamarind. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2023 During the first year of the festival in 2021, that ingredient was tamarind. Melissa Noel, Essence, 12 Oct. 2023 Its very foundation seems to be upheld by colorful ferments—hues hewn from natural hand-ground Kashmiri spices—its walls awash with over 100 varieties of pickle, from tamarind and trout to kebab and karela. Julian Manning, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Sep. 2023 Her tuna tartare is another standout in a bowl, with squares of tuna, jicama, avocado and cucumber swimming in a tamarind and pickled garlic vinaigrette. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 Azúcar gives off the alluring aromas of sweet honey balanced with tamarind, clove, and brown sugar notes. Christina Montoya Fiedler, Woman's Day, 17 Aug. 2023 Garcinia cambogia is derived from the fruit of the Malabar tamarind tree native to Southeastern Asia. Emilia Benton, Women's Health, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tamarind.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish & Portuguese tamarindo, from Arabic tamr hindī, literally, Indian date

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tamarind was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near tamarind

Cite this Entry

“Tamarind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tamarind. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


tam·​a·​rind ˈtam-ə-rənd How to pronounce tamarind (audio)
: a tropical tree of the legume family that has hard yellowish wood, feathery leaves, and red-striped yellow flowers
also : its fruit which has a sour pulp used especially for preserves or as a seasoning in cooking

Medical Definition


tam·​a·​rind ˈtam-ə-rənd, -ˌrind How to pronounce tamarind (audio)
: a tropical leguminous tree (Tamarindus indica) with hard yellowish wood and a fruit with an acid pulp
: the pulp of the partially dried ripe fruit of a tamarind used in herbal medicine especially for its laxative properties

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