Definitions

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

  • n. A tropical or semitropical evergreen (Citrus paradisi) cultivated for its edible fruit.
  • n. The large, round fruit of this tree, having a yellow rind and juicy, somewhat acid pulp.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The tree of the species Citrus paradisi.
  • n. The large spherical tart fruit produced by this tree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The shaddock.
  • n. A citrus tree (Citrus paradisi) bearing large round edible fruit having a thick yellow rind and juicy somewhat acid pulp.
  • n. The large yellow fruit of the Citrus paradisi, having somewhat acid juicy pulp. It is a popular breakfast food.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The pomelo, a smaller variety of the shaddock, Citrus decumana: so called in the markets of the northern cities of the United States, probably from its grape-like flavor. It is now successfully cultivated in Florida. See pomelo, shaddock.

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

  • n. large yellow fruit with somewhat acid juicy pulp; usual serving consists of a half
  • n. citrus tree bearing large round edible fruit having a thick yellow rind and juicy somewhat acid pulp

Etymologies

Probably so called because the fruit grows in clusters.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From grape +‎ fruit, an allusion to the grapelike clusters of fruit on the tree. Ciardi proposes another theory. The pummelo's botanical name was Citrus grandis, meaning "great citrus [fruit]", due to the large size of the fruits. It would be natural to call the new pummelo variety a "greatfruit". By saying that name a few times, with its consonant cluster, it sounds like "grapefruit", and it would easily have morphed to that form. This second suggestion is completely speculative, without attestation, but seems much more reasonable than the equally speculative "grape cluster" theory. Actually, pummelo fruits do not not grow in grapelike clusters. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If you're wondering about the name grapefruit, it references the fact that the fruit grows in grape-like clusters on the tree.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • My co-worker brought in a huge bag of grapefruit from the Valley (yes, the Texas valley).

    An epiphany about grapefruit | Homesick Texan

  • We just enjoyed some grapefruit from a neighbor whose parents live near Harlingen, TX.

    An epiphany about grapefruit | Homesick Texan

  • Up to this point, I have had to slice all of the individual sectors with a knife which takes way too long especially when the anticipation of eating the grapefruit is too much to stand already.

    Peace Corps Bulgaria: Three Parter

  • Grapefruit: Everyone knows the juiciest, largest and sweetest ruby red grapefruit comes from the Rio Grande Valley.

    Homesick Texan holiday gift guide 2007 | Homesick Texan

  • Instead, I live in the pedestrian community of Ajijic where I pick my morning grapefruit from the garden tree every morning in season.

    Pozos

  • It's not that I don't like the idea of grapefruit, it's not that I have anything against grapefruit, its not that a grapefruit scared me as a child, it's just that I would probably starve to death if that's all there were to eat.

    My Thoughts on California Proposition 8

  • (I didn't like the idea of grapefruit blowing up in my mouth) and Wintermint Complete Oral Experience! which, living in Chicago, sounds like something you can get down on North Avenue for 50 bucks.

    Ted Goeglein: It's Too Much

  • You can be grateful that I've brought one for you, too, and not a sour grapefruit, which is what you deserve. '

    The Shadow of the Wind

  • The reporter's question was what journalists called a grapefruit – a question that was supposed to look like a tough inquiry but was in fact a scripted favor to the senator – a slow lob pitch that her father could line up and smash out of the park, clearing the air about a few things.

    Deception Point

Comments

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  • Betcha didn't know this is the name of a strain of medical marijuana!

    January 15, 2010

  • Seen here.

    July 27, 2009

  • I like the Slovene name for this fruit: grenivka (pronounced something like gren-IW-ka], which comes from the word grenak, meaning "bitter".

    December 16, 2007

  • They grow in bunches, like grapes, so someone called them grapefruit. Cool, huh?

    December 8, 2007

  • What have grapes got to do with it?

    December 8, 2007

  • cross between a pomelo and an orange

    July 24, 2007