- any of several plants belonging to the genus Lycopersicon, of the nightshade family, native to Mexico and Central and South America, especially the widely cultivated species L. lycopersicum, bearing a mildly acid, pulpy, usually red fruit eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable.
- the fruit itself.
- Older Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a girl or woman.
Origin of tomato
Examples from the Web for tomato
The tomato sauce is ‘gravy’ to many Italian-Americans of a certain class.Tales of a Jailhouse Gourmet: How I learned to Cook in Prison
June 21, 2014
The sandwich is made with thick tiles of quality bread and adorned with lettuce and tomato.Become a Fried Seafood Believer at South Beach Market
Jane & Michael Stern
April 20, 2014
Mongolians bravely swallow a glass of pickled sheep eyeballs mixed into tomato juice to chase away their morning-after blues.The Wildest Hangover Cures From Around the World
November 29, 2013
Neighboring families war over who makes the best, most authentic, recipe for everything from tomato sauce to minestrone.
Tommy and I would leave just after the tomato harvest to travel around Italy.
For to throw a tomato at the son of Lawyer Gamely was aiming very high.
If you try to get fresh with me I'll paint you blacker—blacker than a—than a tomato could—I will.
Add the vinegar and seasoning, dish in a circle, and pour the tomato over.The Skilful Cook
Bob Strahan blushed until he was redder than any tomato that ever ripened.Mary Rose of Mifflin
Frances R. Sterrett
A tomato whizzed past his ear and splattered against the wall.Meeting of the Board
Alan Edward Nourse
- a solanaceous plant, Lycopersicon (or Lycopersicum) esculentum, of South America, widely cultivated for its red fleshy many-seeded edible fruits
- the fruit of this plant, which has slightly acid-tasting flesh and is eaten in salads, as a vegetable, etc
- US and Canadian slang a girl or woman
Word Origin and History for tomato
1753, earlier tomate (c.1600), from Spanish tomate (mid-16c.) from Nahuatl tomatl "a tomato," literally "the swelling fruit," from tomana "to swell." Spelling probably influenced by potato (1565).
A member of the nightshade family, all of which contain poisonous alkaloids. Introduced in Europe from the New World, by 1550 they regularly were consumed in Italy but grown only as ornamental plants in England and not eaten there or in the U.S. at first. An encyclopedia of 1753 describes it as "a fruit eaten either stewed or raw by the Spaniards and Italians and by the Jew families of England." Introduced in U.S. as part of a program by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (1789), but not commonly eaten until after c.1830.
Alternative name love apple and alleged aphrodisiac qualities have not been satisfactorily explained; perhaps from Italian name pomodoro, taken as from adorare "to adore," but probably actually from d'or "of gold" (in reference to color) or de Moro "of the Moors." Slang meaning "an attractive girl" is recorded from 1929, on notion of juicy plumpness.