• synonyms


  1. a tree, Asimina triloba, of the annona family, native to the eastern U.S., having large, oblong leaves and purplish flowers.
  2. the fleshy, edible fruit of this tree.
  3. papaya.
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Also papaw.

Origin of pawpaw

unexplained variant of papaye papaya
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pawpaw

Historical Examples

  • The horse chestnut, the pawpaw, the grape, and the willow are in bloom.

    Afloat on the Ohio

    Reuben Gold Thwaites

  • Cleave returned to Tullius and the small fire by the pawpaw bushes.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • He lay quiet for awhile, and then he parted the pawpaw bushes and crept out.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Does anyone know for sure how to get pawpaw seed to germinate?

  • On reaching the root of the pawpaw, it stopped for a moment, as if to consider.

    The Desert Home

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for pawpaw


  1. a variant of papaw, papaya
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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 pawpaw


see papaw.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper