Definitions

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

  • n. A crisp, sweet turnip-shaped root vegetable (Pachyrhizus erosus) used raw in salads and as crudités or cooked in stews. Also called Mexican turnip, yam bean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The edible root of the yam bean, Pachyrhizus erosus, used in salads in Central America.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Mexico, a name applied to several edible roots, especially to that of the yam-bean, Cacara erosa, a leguminous plant with a sweetish, turnip-like root, which may be eaten either raw or cooked. This plant is now widely spread throughout the tropics.

Etymologies

American Spanish jícama, from Nahuatl xīcamatl.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Mexican Spanish jícama, from Nahuatl xicama. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The first thing that caught my eye was a neatly arranged pile of jicama, not because they are especially attractive (they're not) but because jicama is one of the signs that the seasons are changing and the produce that grew during the rainy season is being harvested for fall and winter.

    Jicama: a sign of changing culinary seasons in Mexico

  • Although jicama is grown in Texas, most of what is sold north of the border is imported from Mexico and South America.

    Jicama: a sign of changing culinary seasons in Mexico

  • From November through early spring, jicama is a common street snack in Mexico, cut into sticks and served raw with lime juice and powdered chile.

    Jicama: a sign of changing culinary seasons in Mexico

  • Although sometimes called "Mexican yam bean" or even "Chinese potato," the jicama is becoming more and more well known in the north in places outside of California and Texas, where it has been appreciated for years.

    Jicama: a sign of changing culinary seasons in Mexico

  • We added jicama, which is a root vegetable with crunchy, white flesh similar to a giant water chestnut and a mildly sweet, nutty flavor.

    Odessa America Online : Top Story

  • Serve with tortilla chips and fresh vegetables such as jicama sticks and sliced bell peppers.

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • We're using ingredients such as jicama, chayote, baby cilantro, and Chihuahua cheese.

    Boston.com Top Stories

  • She said that along with the expected taco and enchilada dishes, she will also offer a variety of grilled steak, chicken and seafood dishes and entrees using vegetables, such as jicama, typically found in Mexican cuisine.

    Yakima Herald-Republic Weekly News

  • The snacks included rather exotic items such as jicama and star fruit labeled "unusual stars" and more standard fare such as bananas and strawberries.

    billingsgazette.com

  • (though still offered us comedy like the sound of Andre Braugher saying "jicama" over and over), but like the story with Joe's dad last week, the resolution seemed a little too easy.

    What's Alan Watching?

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