[Fr., from Gk. amygdalon.] The fruit of the almond tree, a native of the East and of Africa, grown in the countries around the Mediterranean, and of late years produced in large quantities in California. The fruit or nut is covered with a hard green shell, which dries as it ripens, and finally bursts open and lets the almond drop out. The principal varieties in cultivation are the sweet, bitter, thin-shelled, thick-shelled, and Jordan almonds. Sweet almonds are used in confectionery and for dessert. They contain a large quantity of a bland fixed oil, are of a very agreeable taste, and very nutritious. Bitter almonds contain a substance called amygdalin, from which a peculiar volatile oil is obtained. The Jordan almonds, brought from Malaga, are the finest. Almond wood is a very hard, dense wood, something like lignum vitae. It is used for the teeth and bearings of wooden cog-wheels.