1779, earlier carambole (1775), from French carambole "the red ball in billiards," from Spanish carombola "the red ball in billiards," perhaps originally "fruit of the tropical Asian carambola tree," which is round and orange and supposed to resemble a red billiard ball; from Marathi (southern Indian) karambal. Originally a type of stroke involving the red ball:
If the Striker hits the Red and his Adversary's Ball with his own Ball he played with, he wins two Points; which Stroke is called a Carambole, or for Shortness, a Carrom. ["Hoyle's Games Improved," London, 1779]
1860, from carom (n.). Related: Caromed; caroming.