ebony

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English[edit]

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An organ keyboard, with wooden keys of ebony (dark) and maple (light)

Etymology[edit]

From earlier hebeny, from Middle English ebenif, hebenyf (influenced by Late Latin hebeninus), from Ecclesiastical Latin ebenius (of ebony), from Latin hebenus (ebon tree), from Ancient Greek ἔβενος (ebenos), from Egyptian 𓍁𓈖𓏭𓆱 (hbny).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ebony (usually uncountable, plural ebonies)

  1. A hard, heavy, deep black wood from various subtropical and tropical trees, especially of the genus Diospyros.
  2. A tree that yields such wood.
  3. A deep, dark black colour.
    ebony colour:    
  4. (slang) A black key on a piano or other keyboard instrument

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Adjective[edit]

ebony (comparative more ebony, superlative most ebony)

  1. Made of ebony wood.
  2. A deep, dark black colour.
    ebony colour:    
  3. Dark-skinned; black; especially in reference to African-Americans
    • 1864, George Adams Fisher, The Yankee conscript: or, Eighteen months in Dixie
      He called the ebony mistress of the establishment to him, and speaking to her kindly and winningly, as any dutiful husband should, told her to make the change, which she did.
    • 1931, Catherine MacFarlane Carswell, The life of Robert Burns
      No attempt was made in her new home to discontinue or even to conceal the presence of an ebony mistress and a thriving family of little mulattoes...
    • 2004, "Alyssa", Ebony Girls Need Attention (on newsgroup alt.sex.escorts)
      Want to watch my gorgeous ebony friend, Almond Joy, naked and online 24/7? She recently ended a long-term relationship and is now fully enjoying being a 25 year-old single gal in Beverly Hills.

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