English

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Swietenia mahagoni, a species of mahogany (sense 2)
 
mahogany (sense 1) sideboard, c. 1870
 
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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Malayalam മഹാഗണി (mahāgaṇi).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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mahogany (countable and uncountable, plural mahoganies)

  1. (uncountable) The valuable wood of any of various tropical American evergreen trees, of the genus Swietenia, mostly used to make furniture. [from 17th c.]
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      A very neat old woman, still in her good outdoor coat and best beehive hat, was sitting at a polished mahogany table on whose surface there were several scored scratches so deep that a triangular piece of the veneer had come cleanly away [] .
  2. (countable) Any of the trees from which such wood comes. [from 18th c.]
  3. (regional) A Cornish drink made from gin and treacle. [from 18th c.]
    • 1792, James Boswell, in Danziger & Brady (eds.), Boswell: The Great Biographer (Journals 1789–1795), Yale 1989, p. 178:
      William Murdoch [] produced a bottle of port; but I chose mahogany (two parts gin and one part treacle, which Lord Eliot made us at Sir Joshua Reynolds's as a Cornish liquor, but it seems they make it also with brandy, and often add porter to it).
  4. A reddish-brown color, like that of mahogany wood. [from 19th c.]
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 6, in Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      Better she, my dear, than a black Mrs. Sedley, and a dozen of mahogany grandchildren.
    mahogany:  
  5. (obsolete, colloquial) A table made from mahogany wood; a dining table. [19th c.]
    • 1842, Dublin University Magazine: A Literary and Political Journal:
      Poets eat and drink without stint — and seldom at their own cost — for what man of mark or likelihood in the moneyed world is there, who is not eager to get their legs under his mahogany?
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC:
      Yet habit—strange thing! what cannot habit accomplish?—Gayer sallies, more merry mirth, better jokes, and brighter repartees, you never heard over your mahogany  []

Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • German: Mahagoni

Translations

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Adjective

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mahogany (comparative more mahogany, superlative most mahogany)

  1. Made of mahogany.
  2. Having the colour of mahogany; dark reddish-brown.

References

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  • mahogany”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.

Anagrams

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