Definitions

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

  • n. A tree (Nephelium lappaceum) of southeast Asia, bearing edible oval red fruit with soft spines.
  • n. The fruit of this tree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tree, Nephelium lappaceum, of Southeast Asia.
  • n. The fruit of this tree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Malayan fruit produced by the tree Nephelium lappaceum, and closely related to the litchi nut. It is bright red, oval in shape, covered with coarse hairs (whence the name), and contains a pleasant acid pulp. Called also ramboostan.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fruit of Nephelium lappaceum, a lofty tree of the Malay archipelago.

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

  • n. Malayan tree bearing spiny red fruit
  • n. pleasantly acid bright red oval Malayan fruit covered with soft spines

Etymologies

Malay, from rambut, hair (from its hairy covering).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Malay rambutan, English usage first attested 1707. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She might mean a culogo, but they would not be found in rambutan trees.

    Reply To Susan Abrahams

  • This subject is mentioned elsewhere: see chapter on the Arts and Sciences of the Singhalese.] _The use of fruit_ -- Fruits are abundant and wholesome; but with the exception of oranges, pineapples, the luscious mango and the indescribable "rambutan," for want of horticultural attention they are inferior in flavour, and soon cease to be alluring.

    Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions, Volume 1 (of 2)

  • They are slowly smoked using wood from the rambutan tree before being sent to local markets and abroad.

    Fishery Zones for Indonesia

  • But I personally prefer mangosteen or rambutan, though.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • A block from Honolulu Harbor, a wide pedestrian lane called Kekaulike runs between two rows of old brick buildings, lined with palm trees and cardboard boxes piled high with fragrant papayas, apple bananas, pineapples, and spiky, ruby-colored rambutan.

    American Chinatown

  • Yudhoyono told a reporter for Koran Tempo Daily that when he invited Obama to come to Jakarta next year, Barack said that "besides forging greater cooperation between the two nations, a visit would give him a chance to try local food again, including meatball soup, nasi goreng and rambutan."

    Food, Culture & Politics: Barack as Indonesian Gourmand...And Peace Maker

  • On the other hand, my first memories of Thailand, for example, are incredibly vivid: Stepping out on the tarmac of Don Mueang in the heat of a murky tropical night, hearing shouts of "Yankee go home" before being wai'ed and given jasmine-scented garlands and some juicy, sticky rambutan by my AFS hosts on the way into town.

    Archive 2009-06-15

  • A fine mist filters down through the rambutan trees.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • We pause under the shade of a rambutan tree, next to a hedge shaped like a monkey eating a banana.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • I love the taste of rambutan but I'm not a fan of the texture so I hardly ever buy them.

    Rambutan

Comments

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  • I misspoke - I disagree with the two very general definitions listed, solely on the grounds that they are way too general - "a tree bearing edible fruit" could include apples/oranges or limes/coconuts as well (and mixing either of those is frowned upon nod to Harry Nilsson). "Edible reproductive body of a seed plant..." could be anything from grapes to rose hips. I know, I'm picky. A similar overly-general definition might be "a human is an animal with two eyes" - true, but almost useless.

    October 30, 2009

  • Why?

    October 30, 2009

  • I must disagree with most of the given definitions listed for this one.

    October 30, 2009

  • Durian Durian
    Simon Le Bon's first failed attempt at stardom.

    January 24, 2008

  • Dorian's lesser-known first cousin...

    January 24, 2008

  • As featured in the Oscar Wilde classic The Picture of Durian Gray

    January 24, 2008

  • Least you didn't choose the Durian....


    January 24, 2008

  • Now that's what I call kinky

    January 24, 2008