teak


teak
/teek/, n.
1. a large East Indian tree, Tectona grandis, of the verbena family, yielding a hard, durable, resinous, yellowish-brown wood used for shipbuilding, making furniture, etc.
2. the wood of this tree.
3. any of various similar trees or woods.
[1665-75; earlier teke < Pg teca < Malayalam tekka]

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Large deciduous tree (Tectona grandis) of the verbena family, and its wood, one of the most valuable and durable timbers.

Teak has been widely used in India for more than 2,000 years; some temples contain teak beams more than 1,000 years old. The tree has a straight stem, often thickened at the base, a spreading crown, and four-sided branchlets. The rough leaves are opposite or sometimes whorled, and the branches end in many small white flowers. The unseasoned heartwood has a pleasant, strong aromatic fragrance and a beautiful golden-yellow colour, which on seasoning darkens into brown, mottled with darker streaks. Resistant to the effects of water, teakwood is used for shipbuilding, fine furniture, door and window frames, wharves, bridges, cooling-tower louvers, flooring, and paneling. Its desirability has led to severe overcutting in tropical forests.

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tree
 large deciduous tree of the family Verbenaceae, or its wood, one of the most valuable timbers. Teak has been widely used in India for more than 2,000 years. The name teak is from the Malayalam word tēkka.

      The tree has a straight but often buttressed stem (i.e., thickened at the base), a spreading crown, and four-sided branchlets with large quadrangular pith. The leaves are opposite or sometimes whorled in young specimens, about 0.5 metre (1.5 feet) long and 23 cm (9 inches) wide. In shape they resemble those of the tobacco plant, but their substance is hard and the surface rough. The branches terminate in many small white flowers in large, erect, cross-branched panicles. The fruit is a drupe (fleshy, with a stony seed) 1.7 cm (two-thirds of an inch) in diameter. The bark of the stem is about 1.3 cm (half an inch) thick, gray or brownish gray, the sapwood white; the unseasoned heartwood has a pleasant and strong aromatic fragrance and a beautiful golden yellow colour, which on seasoning darkens into brown, mottled with darker streaks. The timber retains its aromatic fragrance to a great age.

      Native to India, Myanmar (Burma (Myanmar)), and Thailand, the tree grows as far north as about the 25th parallel in most of this area but to the 32nd parallel in the Punjab. The tree is not found near the coast; the most valuable forests are on low hills up to about 900 metres (3,000 feet). Stands are also found in the Philippines and in Java and elsewhere in the Malay Archipelago. Teak is also planted in Africa, Central America, and South America.

      During the dry season the tree is leafless; in hot localities the leaves fall in January, but in moist places the tree remains green until March. At the end of the dry season, when the first monsoon rains fall, the new foliage emerges. Although the tree flowers freely, few seeds are produced because many of the flowers are sterile. The forest fires of the dry season, which in India usually occur in March and April after the seeds have ripened and have partly fallen, impede the spread of the tree by self-sown seed. In Burmese plantations, teak trees on good soil have attained an average height of 18 metres (59 feet) in 15 years, with a girth, breast high, of 0.5 metre (1.5 feet). In the natural forests of Myanmar and India, teak timber with a girth of about 2 metres (6.5 feet) and a diameter of 0.6 metre (2 feet) is never less than 100 and often more than 200 years old. Mature trees are usually not more than 46 metres (150 feet) high.

      Teak timber is valued in warm countries principally for its extraordinary durability. In India and Myanmar, beams of the wood in good preservation are often found in buildings many centuries old, and teak beams have lasted in palaces and temples more than 1,000 years. The timber is practically imperishable under cover.

      Teakwood is used for shipbuilding, fine furniture, door and window frames, wharves, bridges, cooling-tower louvres, flooring, paneling, railway cars, and venetian blinds. An important property of teak is its extremely good dimensional stability. It is strong, of medium weight, and of average hardness. Termites eat the sapwood but rarely attack the heartwood; it is not, however, completely resistant to marine borers.

      Myanmar produces most of the world's supply, with Indonesia, India, and Thailand ranking next in production. Since the mid-1980s, numerous countries have restricted teak logging to control deforestation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
(Tectona grandis)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Teak — foliage and seeds Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae …   Wikipedia

  • Teak — Sn (ein Edelholz) erw. exot. (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. teak, dieses aus port. teca, dieses aus malayalam tēkka, tamil. tēkka, nicht indogermanischen Ursprungs.    Ebenso nndl. teak, ne. teak, nfrz. teck, nschw. teak, nnorw. teak. ✎… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Teak — (t[=e]k), n. [Malayalam tekku.] (Bot.) A tree of East Indies ({Tectona grandis}) which furnishes an extremely strong and durable timber highly valued for shipbuilding and other purposes; also, the timber of the tree. [Written also {teek}.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • teak — tèak s.m.inv. TS bot.com. → tek {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1813. ETIMO: dall ingl. teak …   Dizionario italiano

  • Teak — [ti:k] das; s <aus engl. teak, dies über port. teca aus Malayalam (einer drawidischen Sprache des südwestlichen Indien) tekka> Kurzform von ↑Teakholz …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • teak — [ tik ] noun count a large tree with hard yellow brown wood and white flowers a. uncount the valuable hard wood of a teak tree, often used for making furniture …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Teak — Teak‹holz›: Der Name des asiatischen Nutzholzes wurde im 19. Jh. aus engl. teak entlehnt, das seinerseits aus gleichbed. port. teca übernommen ist. Dies stammt aus tekka, einem Wort der südindischen Drawidasprache Malayalam …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Teak — [tiːk] das; s; nur Sg; das sehr harte Holz eines tropischen Baums, das besonders bei der Produktion von teuren Möbeln und Schiffen verwendet wird || K : Teakholz, Teakmöbel …   Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache

  • Teak — 〈 [ti:k] n.; Gen.: s; Pl.: unz.; kurz für〉 Teakholz …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • teak — [ti:k] n [Date: 1600 1700; : Portuguese; Origin: teca, from Malayalam tekka] [U] a hard yellowish brown wood that is used for making ships and good quality furniture …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • teak — type of East Indian tree, 1690s, from Port. teca, from Malayam tekka, corresponding to Tamil tekku, Telegu teku, Kanarese tegu …   Etymology dictionary


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