A genus of small trees and shrubs of the family Rubiaceae, native especially to tropical Asia and Australia, several of which have roots and root bark yielding red and yellow dyes; (also morinda) any of the plants of this genus, especially M. citrifolia and M. tinctoria, used as dye plants in South Asia. Frequently attributive, especially in "Morinda bark", "Morinda root".
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in New & Complete Dictionary Arts & Science. From scientific Latin Morinda (LinnaeusSpecies Plantarumi. 176) from classical Latin mōrus + Indus Indian + -a.