from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tropical American tree (Persea americana) having oval or pear-shaped fruit with leathery skin, yellowish-green flesh, and a large seed.
  • n. The edible fruit of this tree. Also called alligator pear, avocado pear.
  • n. A dull green.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The large, usually yellowish-green or black, pulpy fruit of the avocado tree.
  • n. The avocado tree.
  • n. A dull yellowish-green colour, the colour of the meat of an avocado.
  • adj. Of a dull yellowish-green colour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The pulpy fruit of Persea gratissima, a tree of tropical America. It is about the size and shape of a large pear; -- called also avocado pear, alligator pear, midshipman's butter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The alligator-pear, the fruit of Persea gratissima, natural order Lauraceœ, a tree common in tropical America and the West Indies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of the dull yellowish green of the meat of an avocado
  • n. tropical American tree bearing large pulpy green fruits
  • n. a pear-shaped tropical fruit with green or blackish skin and rich yellowish pulp enclosing a single large seed


American Spanish, alteration (influenced by obsolete Spanish avocado, lawyer) of Nahuatl ahuacatl.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish aguacate, from Nahuatl ahuacatl. Influenced by confusion with Spanish abogado ("lawyer"). (Wiktionary)



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  • I experienced it as referring to both.

    October 2, 2010

  • However I'm not sure whether palta refers to the fruit or just to its flesh, the part that you eat.

    October 2, 2010

  • palta is the word in most of South and Central America in my experience.

    October 2, 2010

  • In Peru, the word is completely different -- palta.

    October 2, 2010

  • Spanish tried to borrow the Nahuatl word for this fruit, ahuacatl "tree testicle", but found it difficult to pronounce. The Nahuatl word was first changed to aguacate, a word seemingly containing agua "water", but later this word was replaced by avocado "lawyer" (abogado today), a word sharing an origin with English advocate.

    October 2, 2010

  • from Nahuatl "ahuacatl"--testicle.

    also, ezola--this website says that the Spanish heard 'ahuacatl' as a word they had already, that is 'avocado' (lawyer). the French is no coincidence.

    April 28, 2009

  • perhaps related to bocado spanish for delicacy

    February 4, 2009

  • Avocado in French is avocat, which also means attorney.

    December 31, 2008

  • "Having been previously raised by wolves, I'm now learning the little things that only those who are loved get to learn, like how to smile in a photograph and the most efficient way to peel an avocado."
    - user NoAffectation,, 24 Nov 2008.

    November 26, 2008

  • See comments at aphrodisiac.

    May 7, 2008