Annatto pod with seeds.
annatto definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
a dye of reddish yellow made from the pulp around the seeds of a tropical dicotyledonous tree (Bixa orellana, family Bixaceae): it is used for coloring butter, cheese, varnishes, etc.
Origin: of West Indian origin, originally
annatto definition by American Heritage Dictionary
also a·nat·tonoun pl. an·nat·tos also a·nat·tos In all senses also called achiote.
- A tropical American evergreen shrub or small tree (Bixa orellana), having heart-shaped leaves and showy, rose-pink or sometimes white flowers. Also called lipstick tree.
- The seed of this plant, used as a coloring and sometimes as a flavoring, especially in Latin American cuisine.
- A yellowish-red dyestuff obtained from the seed aril of this plant, used especially to dye fabric and to color food products such as margarine and cheese.
Origin: Of Cariban origin.