or can·ta·loup

[ kan-tl-ohp ]
/ ˈkæn tlˌoʊp /
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a variety of melon, Cucumis melo cantalupensis, of the gourd family, having a hard scaly or warty rind, grown in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
a muskmelon having a reticulated rind and pale-orange flesh.


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Origin of cantaloupe

First recorded in 1730–40; from French, allegedly after Cantaluppi, a papal estate near Rome where cultivation of this melon is said to have begun in Europe, though a comparable Italian word is not attested until much later than the French word, and Cantaloup, a village in Languedoc, has also been proposed as the source
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a cantaloupe?

A cantaloupe is an edible member of the gourd family known for its orange, sweet flesh and hard, scaly outer rind. Its scientific name is Cucumis melo cantalupensis and is sold mainly in Europe.

A cantaloupe is also a type of muskmelon, with pale orange flesh and a rough, reticulated rind. That is, the rind has veins that look like the threads of a net. Its scientific name is Cucumis melo reticulatus and is sold mainly in the United States. Cucumis melo reticulatus is considered less sweet and more juice filled than Cucumis melo cantalupensis.

Example: I made a melon salad with watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew for the pool party.

Where does cantaloupe come from?

The first records of the term cantaloupe come from the 1700s. It comes from the French cantaloup. It may have come from Cantaluppi, a papal estate that cultivates this melon. However, the comparable Italian word for this fruit is younger than cantaloup, and the French village of Cantaloup may actually be the source.

Another name for Cucumis melo reticulatus is mushmelon, which plays on muskmelon. Many Northeast United States family recipes call for mushmelon, or cantaloupe, for desserts and refreshing treats. In one of these recipes, you cut a cantaloupe in half, remove the seeds, and the cavity with vanilla ice cream. (We’ll have one, please!)

While the North American cantaloupe and European cantaloupe might have their differences, they are both delicious treats that can be enjoyed on a hot summer day, and that is all that really matters.

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What are some synonyms for cantaloupe?

What are some words that often get used in discussing cantaloupe?

How is cantaloupe used in real life?

Cantaloupe is a food item commonly used in melon salads, especially in warmer months.



Try using cantaloupe!

True or False?

A cantaloupe is a vegetable with a sour taste.

How to use cantaloupe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cantaloupe



/ (ˈkæntəˌluːp) /

a cultivated variety of muskmelon, Cucumis melo cantalupensis, with ribbed warty rind and orange flesh
any of several other muskmelons

Word Origin for cantaloupe

C18: from French, from Cantaluppi, former papal villa near Rome, where it was first cultivated in Europe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012