African mahogany – Definition & Meaning

African mahogany is a type of hardwood tree found in Africa. It is known for its beautiful reddish-brown color and durability, making it a popular choice for furniture and woodworking. In this article, we will explore the definition, meaning, and associations of African mahogany.


African mahogany, scientifically known as Khaya senegalensis, is a species of tree in the family Meliaceae. It is native to West and Central Africa and can grow up to 50 meters tall. The wood of African mahogany is highly valued for its strength, durability, and resistance to decay.


African mahogany is indigenous to West and Central Africa. It is commonly found in countries such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The tree grows in tropical and subtropical regions and is a common sight in forests and woodlands.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of African mahogany varies depending on the dictionary. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, African mahogany is “a large tree of the mahogany family, native to West Africa, with timber that is used for furniture and veneers.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a large tropical tree (genus Khaya) of the mahogany family with hard durable wood.”


African mahogany is associated with strength, durability, and luxury. It is a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and cabinetry due to its beautiful color and resistance to wear and tear. The wood is also used in boatbuilding and musical instruments, such as guitars and drums.


African mahogany is also known by other names, such as Khaya, Nigerian mahogany, and dry-zone mahogany. These names refer to the same species of tree and are used interchangeably.


There are no direct antonyms of African mahogany, as it is a specific type of tree. However, other types of wood, such as pine or oak, may be considered as alternatives to African mahogany for certain applications.

The same root words

The scientific name of African mahogany, Khaya senegalensis, contains the root word “Khaya,” which is derived from the Wolof language of Senegal and means “wood.” The word “mahogany” comes from the Spanish “mogno,” which refers to a type of wood that was once imported from the Americas.

Example Sentences

  • The African mahogany tree is known for its beautiful reddish-brown color and durability.
  • The furniture in the hotel lobby was made from African mahogany wood.
  • The boatbuilder chose African mahogany for its resistance to water damage.
  • The guitar maker used African mahogany for the body of the instrument.
  • The flooring in the mansion was made from African mahogany planks.
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