or lee·chee, li·chee, ly·chee

noun, plural li·tchis.
  1. the fruit of a Chinese tree, Litchi chinensis, of the soapberry family, consisting of a thin, brittle shell enclosing a sweet, jellylike pulp and a single seed.
  2. the tree itself.

Origin of litchi

1580–90; < New Latin < Chinese lìzhi ( ‘scallion’ + zhī ‘branch’) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for litchi

Historical Examples of litchi

  • Or in ivory chopsticks, oolong tea, imitation jade, litchi nuts and preserved leeches!

    Tutt and Mr. Tutt

    Arthur Train

  • By some of the earlier botanical works the litchi is placed either in the genus Dimocarpus or Euphoria.

    The Nut Culturist

    Andrew S. Fuller

  • About him were golden limes, ginger in syrup, litchi nuts, pickled leeches.

    Tutt and Mr. Tutt

    Arthur Train

British Dictionary definitions for litchi


lichee, lichi or lychee

  1. a Chinese sapindaceous tree, Litchi chinensis, cultivated for its round edible fruits
  2. the fruit of this tree, which has a whitish juicy edible aril

Word Origin for litchi

C16: from Cantonese lai chi
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