1. An evergreen tree (Pimenta dioica) native to the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America, having opposite, simple leaves and white flowers clustered in cymes.
2. The dried, nearly ripe berries of this plant, used as a spice. In both senses also called pimento.
[Early Modern English, so called because it was considered to combine the aromas and flavors of spices commonly used in Europe before the colonization of the Americas, especially cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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