from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An evergreen tropical American tree (Carica papaya) with a crown of large lobed leaves, widely cultivated for its large yellow edible fruit.
  • noun The fruit of this tree, having soft pink to orange flesh and numerous small black seeds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A former genus of trees, the papaws, of the order Passifloraceæ, now included in Carica. See Carica and papaw.
  • noun [lowercase] A tree of this genus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A tree (Carica Papaya) of tropical America, belonging to the order Passifloreæ; called also papaw and pawpaw. It has a soft, spongy stem, eighteen or twenty feet high, crowned with a tuft of large, long-stalked, palmately lobed leaves. The milky juice of the plant is said to have the property of making meat tender.
  • noun The fruit of the papaya tree; it is a dull orange-colored, melon-shaped fruit, which is eaten both raw and cooked or pickled. The fruit contains papain, a protease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A tropical American evergreen tree, Carica papaya, having large, yellow, edible fruit
  • noun The fruit of this tree.

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

  • noun tropical American shrub or small tree having huge deeply palmately cleft leaves and large oblong yellow fruit
  • noun large oval melon-like tropical fruit with yellowish flesh


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

[Spanish papaya, of Arawakan origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish, originally from Arawak papáia



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  • I shoot WordNET. Now.

    December 8, 2007

  • Where would we be without phrases like "huge deeply palmately cleft leaves"? I feel quite aroused.

    December 8, 2007

  • Good grief.

    December 8, 2007

  • After having skinned my bonce on these in the jungles of Asia, I resent WordNET claiming them as American. Besides, when they splitted open on my forehad they were as often red or orange as yellow. The green ones didn't break usually because they were unripe; grated, they make a damn good salad in Cambodia. The leaves are eaten in Asia as a kind of vegetable. They're very bitter and not recommended for pregnant women presumably because of the papain levels.

    December 8, 2007

  • Yeah, pregnant women usually have enough papapapapain to look forward to already. ;)

    December 8, 2007

  • Can fruit really be oblong? I know that the Japanese have genetically engineered cubic grapefruit, for ease of packing. But, in the wild, are there really oblong fruit?

    This comment is based on a prior belief that oblong implied a rectilinear aspect, in addition to the 'longer than it is wide' property. Some random google checking would suggest that oblong objects may not necessarily have corners. In which case I fail to understand the difrerence between oblong and oval.

    December 8, 2007

  • I think sionnach and I should go to the market. As friends, mind you, as friends.

    December 8, 2007

  • sionnach, I always thought the difference was akin to that between sphere and circle. I could be wrong though. Signed, Too Lazy to Check.

    December 8, 2007

  • I vaguely remember hearing that "papaya" is the longest word you can type with one hand on a Dvorak keyboard, and that this is supposed to be a selling point for Dvorak keyboards.

    I also remember hearing that "stewardesses" is the longest word you can type with one hand on a QWERTY keyboard, but that memory is more vague, and probably false.

    April 5, 2008

  • PT, you may want to check out my Sound of One Hand Typing list. I have "stewardess" on there, but not the plural. And I haven't done a Dvorak keyboard version yet. :-)

    April 5, 2008