1. tall fan palm of Africa and India and Malaysia yielding a hard wood and sweet sap that is a source of palm wine and sugar; leaves used for thatching and weaving
2. A species of palm (Borassus flabelliformis) having a straight, black, upright trunk, with palmate leaves. It is found native along the entire northern shores of the Indian Ocean, from the mouth of the Tigris to New Guinea. More than eight hundred uses to which it is put are enumerated by native writers. Its wood is largely used for building purposes; its fruit and roots serve for food, its sap for making toddy, and its leaves for thatching huts.