- [Bot] A genus of climbing orchidaceous plants, natives of tropical America.
- The long podlike capsules of Vanilla planifolia, and Vanilla claviculata, remarkable for their delicate and agreeable odor, for the volatile, odoriferous oil extracted from them; also, the flavoring extract made from the capsules, extensively used in confectionery, perfumery, etc.
Note: ☞ As a medicine, vanilla is supposed to possess powers analogous to valerian, while, at the same time, it is far more grateful.
Etymology: NL., fr. Sp. vainilla, dim. of Sp. vaina a sheath, a pod, L. vagina; because its grains, or seeds, are contained in little pods