[ chahy-oh-tee ]
/ tʃaɪˈoʊ ti /
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a tropical American vine, Sechium edule, of the gourd family, having triangular leaves and small, white flowers.
the green or white, furrowed, usually pear-shaped, edible fruit of this plant.
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Also choyote.
Also called christophene, mirliton, vegetable pear.

Origin of chayote

1885–90, Americanism;<Mexican Spanish <Nahuatl chayohtli

Words nearby chayote

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does chayote mean?

Chayote is a light green, pear-shaped, squash-like fruit popular in Central American cuisine.


Where does chayote come from?

Chayote (Sechium edule) is a member of the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, native to Mesoamerica. Its common Spanish name is chayote, which derives from the Nahuatl word, chayohtli. It’s also known as mirliton squash.

Chayote was a staple in the diets of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. European colonists later spread the plant to the Caribbean islands and Europe. Today, the plant is eaten all over the world and grown in various warm climates.

Chayote is described to have a mild taste, similar to a potato and cucumber. Raw chayote is often used in salads, while cooked chayote can be used in many dishes due to its weak flavor. Chayote is high in vitamin C, and its leaves are used to treat kidney disease and hypertension.

How is chayote used in real life?

Chayote is only successfully grown in a few southern U.S. states. Americans have been more exposed to the fruit in the 2000s thanks to immigration from Central America and supermarkets stocking less-common fruits and vegetables.

In its native Central America, however, chayote is as common as it has been for centuries.

More examples of chayote:

“Even in the heat of summer, Horacio Fuentes doesn’t need any shade in his Wilshire Park backyard. After all, he has a chayote. A seamless sea of green runs from the second-floor eaves of his house to the detached garage in the back, shading the entire length of the driveway.”
—Jeff Spurrier, Los Angeles Times, August 2012


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use chayote in a sentence

  • The chayote was not cultivated in Cayenne ten years ago.1353 Nothing indicates an ancient cultivation in Brazil.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants|Alphonse De Candolle

British Dictionary definitions for chayote

/ (tʃɑːˈjəʊteɪ, tʃaɪˈəʊtɪ) /

a tropical American cucurbitaceous climbing plant, Sechium edule, that has edible pear-shaped fruit enclosing a single enormous seed
the fruit of this plant, which is cooked and eaten as a vegetable

Word Origin for chayote

from Spanish, from Nahuatl chayotli
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