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1. A tropical South American tree (Dipteryx odorata) in the pea family, having pulpy, egg-shaped, one-seeded pods with fragrant seeds containing coumarin.
2. The seed of this tree, formerly widely used as a flavoring for food or tobacco. Extracts from tonka beans have been banned as food additives in the United States.
[Perhaps from Galibi tonka.]
1. (Plants) a tall leguminous tree, Coumarouna odorata, of tropical America, having fragrant black almond-shaped seeds
2. (Plants) the seeds of this tree, used in the manufacture of perfumes, snuff, etc
[C18: probably from Tupi tonka]
ton′ka bean`(ˈtɒŋ kə)
1. the fragrant black seed of a tropical American tree, Dipteryx odorata, or related species: used in perfumes, as a source of coumarin, and as a vanilla substitute.
2. the tree itself.
[1790–1800; probably < Tupi tõka]
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|Noun||1.||tonka bean - fragrant black nutlike seeds of the tonka bean tree; used in perfumes and medicines and as a substitute for vanilla|
bean - any of various seeds or fruits that are beans or resemble beans
|2.||tonka bean - tall tropical South American tree having pulpy egg-shaped pods of fragrant black almond-shaped seeds used for flavoring|
bean tree - any of several trees having seedpods as fruits