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Meaning of tonka bean

ton'ka bean"

Pronunciation: (tong'ku), [key]
  1. the fragrant, black almond-shaped seed of a tall tree belonging to the genus Dipteryx (or Coumarouna), of the legume family, esp. D. odorata, of tropical South America, used in perfumes, as a source of coumarin, and as a substitute for vanilla.
  2. the tree itself.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.