ETYM Prob. from the native name.
Soft fiber of silk-cotton tree, used to fill cushions, etc.; the silk-cotton tree, its seeds and oil.
1. From the kapok tree; used for stuffing and insulation; SYN. silk cotton, vegetable silk.
2. Massive tropical tree with deep ridges on its massive trunk and bearing large pods of seeds covered with silky floss; source of the silky kapok fiber; SYN. silk-cotton tree, white silk-cotton tree, Bombay ceiba, Ceiba pentandra.
Silky hairs that surround the seeds of certain trees, particularly the kapok tree Bombax ceiba of India and Malaysia, and the silk-cotton tree Ceiba pentandra, a native of tropical America. Kapok is used for stuffing cushions and mattresses and for sound insulation; oil obtained from the seeds is used in food and soap preparation.