Ebony is a very dark black color, or a south Asian tropical tree with hard, dark-colored heartwood. Black piano keys and black chess pieces are often made with ebony.

Used as a noun or adjective, ebony derives from Greek word ebenos, meaning "ebony" and was first used in the 17th century to describe a very dark black color. Cabinetry made out of ebony was very fashionable during the Victorian era because it was imported and considered exotic, but today, because it is considered a threatened species, its uses are limited to small objects, such as animal carvings or parts of musical instruments.

Definitions of ebony
  1. noun
    hard dark-colored heartwood of the ebony tree; used in cabinetwork and for piano keys
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    type of:
    the hard fibrous lignified substance under the bark of trees
  2. noun
    tropical tree of southern Asia having hard dark-colored heartwood used in cabinetwork
    synonyms: Diospyros ebenum, ebony tree
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    type of:
    a tall perennial woody plant having a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown; includes both gymnosperms and angiosperms
  3. noun
    a very dark black
    synonyms: coal black, jet black, pitch black, sable, soot black
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    type of:
    black, blackness, inkiness
    the quality or state of the achromatic color of least lightness (bearing the least resemblance to white)
  4. adjective
    of a very dark black
    synonyms: ebon
    achromatic, neutral
    having no hue
Word Family
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