Definition of babassu in English:

babassu

(also babaçu)

Pronunciation /ˌbäbəˈso͞o/ /ˌbɑbəˈsu/

noun

  • A Brazilian palm that yields an edible oil which is sometimes used in cosmetics.

    Genus Orbignya, family Palmae

    ‘The rubs harness the soothing properties of babassu oil (harvested from the Amazonian babassu palm) and essential oils.’
    • ‘The babassu palm, which grows in the Brazilian Amazon, is harvested sustainably to provide a natural oil for use in Aveda hair conditioners and as a cleansing ingredient in shampoos.’
    • ‘The shampoo cleanses fine hair with organic coconut and babassu oils and contains calendula, honey and marshmallow to give life to limp strands.’
    • ‘One partnership is with the Maranhao tribe of northeast Brazil, who harvest babassu nuts (from Amazonian palm trees), which are used as a cleansing agent in some Aveda shampoos.’
    • ‘In the northeastern region of Brazil, near the Amazon, indigenous women harvest nuts from babassu palms.’
    • ‘Then exchange sensual massages with exotic babassu oil from the Amazon - tinged with essential oils of orange, sandalwood and frankincense.’

Origin

1920s from Brazilian Portuguese babaçu, from Tupi ybá ‘fruit’ + guasu ‘large’.