Bra*zil" wood` (?). [OE. brasil, LL. brasile (cf. Pg. & Sp. brasil, Pr. bresil, Pr. bresil); perh. from Sp. or Pg. brasa a live coal (cf. Braze, Brasier); or Ar. vars plant for dyeing red or yellow. This name was given to the wood from its color; and it is said that King Emanuel, of Portugal, gave the name Brazil to the country in South America on account of its producing this wood.]
The wood of the oriental Caesalpinia Sapan; -- so called before the discovery of America.
A very heavy wood of a reddish color, imported from Brazil and other tropical countries, for cabinet-work, and for dyeing. The best is the heartwood of Caesalpinia echinata, a leguminous tree; but other trees also yield it. An interior sort comes from Jamaica, the timber of C. Braziliensis and C. crista. This is often distinguished as Braziletto , but the better kind is also frequently so named.
© Webster 1913.