See more synonyms for papaya on
  1. the large, yellow, melonlike fruit of a tropical American shrub or small tree, Carica papaya, eaten raw or cooked.
  2. the tree itself.

Origin of papaya

1760–70; < Spanish < Carib (Hispaniola)
Also called pawpaw.
Related formspa·pa·yan, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for papaya

cantaloupe, gourd, papaya, watermelon, musk, casaba, honeydew, nutmeg, pepo

Examples from the Web for papaya

Contemporary Examples of papaya

  • Papaya and Arugula Salad by Anne Byrn The Dinner Doctor offers a salad to please both the palate and the eye.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What to Eat

    July 28, 2009

  • Papaya is not as sweet as mango or peach, but it gives a salad great texture, flavor, and color.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What to Eat

    July 28, 2009

Historical Examples of papaya

British Dictionary definitions for papaya


  1. a Caribbean evergreen tree, Carica papaya, with a crown of large dissected leaves and large green hanging fruit: family Caricaceae
  2. the fruit of this tree, having a yellow or reddish orange sweet edible pulp and small black seeds
Also called: papaw, pawpaw
Derived Formspapayan, adjective

Word Origin for papaya

C15 papaye, from Spanish papaya, from an American Indian language; compare Carib ababai
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

Word Origin and History for papaya

1590s for fruit, 1610s for tree, from Spanish, probably from Arawakan (West Indies) papaya.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper