watermelon

/waw"teuhr mel'euhn, wot"euhr-/, n.
1. the large, roundish or elongated fruit of a trailing vine, Citrullus lanata, of the gourd family, having a hard, green rind and a sweet, juicy, usually pink or red pulp.
2. the vine itself.
[1605-15; WATER + MELON]

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Succulent fruit of Citrullus lanatus (formerly C. vulgaris), in the gourd family, native to tropical Africa and cultivated on every continent except Antarctica.

The vines spread across the ground with branched tendrils, deeply cut leaves, and light-yellow flowers. Each vine bears 2–15 large, reddish, white, or yellow, sweet, very juicy fruits with flat black seeds. Varieties differ in flesh color, shape, and rind thickness. The rind may be preserved as a pickle.

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 (Citrullus lanatus, formerly C. vulgaris), succulent fruit of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), native to tropical Africa, but under cultivation on every continent except Antarctica. Its vines grow prostrate, with branched tendrils, deeply cut leaves, and flowers borne singly in the axil of a leaf. Each light yellow flower produces either pollen or fruit. The sweet, juicy flesh may be reddish, white, or yellow. Flesh colour, shape of the fruit, and thickness of the rind depend on the variety. Weight varies from 1 to 2 kg (2.5 to 5 pounds) to 20 kg or more. The number of fruits per vine varies from 2 or 3 to 15.

      The history of watermelons is a long one; there is a Sanskrit word for watermelon, and fruits are depicted by early Egyptian artists, indicating an antiquity in agriculture of more than 4,000 years.

      Watermelon contains vitamin A and some vitamin C. It is usually eaten raw. The rind is sometimes preserved as a pickle.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Watermelon — Wa ter*mel on, n. (Bot.) The very large ovoid or roundish fruit of a cucurbitaceous plant ({Citrullus vulgaris}) of many varieties; also, the plant itself. The fruit sometimes weighs many pounds; its pulp is usually pink in color, and full of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • watermelon — 1610s, from WATER (Cf. water) (n.1) + MELON (Cf. melon). So called for being full of thin juice. Cf. Fr. melon d eau …   Etymology dictionary

  • watermelon — ► NOUN ▪ a large melon like fruit with smooth green skin, red pulp, and watery juice …   English terms dictionary

  • watermelon — [wôt′ərmel΄ən] n. [ WATER + MELON: from its abundant watery juice] 1. a large, round or oblong, edible fruit with a hard, green rind and sweet, juicy, pink or red pulp containing many seeds 2. the widely cultivated, tropical African trailing vine …   English World dictionary

  • Watermelon — For other uses, see Watermelon (disambiguation). Watermelon …   Wikipedia

  • watermelon —    American    an indication of pregnancy    In phrases such as have a watermelon on the vine or swallow a watermelon seed. Watermelons, in vulgar male talk, may be female breasts …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • watermelon — UK [ˈwɔːtə(r)ˌmelən] / US [ˈwɔtərˌmelən] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms watermelon : singular watermelon plural watermelons a large round fruit that has a hard green skin outside and is red with small black seeds inside …   English dictionary

  • watermelon — noun 1. an African melon • Syn: ↑watermelon vine, ↑Citrullus vulgaris • Hypernyms: ↑melon, ↑melon vine • Member Holonyms: ↑Citrullus, ↑genus Citrullus …   Useful english dictionary

  • watermelon — noun a) A plant of the genus Citrullus, a variety of melon. b) The fruit of the watermelon plant, having a green rind and watery flesh that is bright red when ripe and contains black pips …   Wiktionary

  • watermelon — [[t]wɔ͟ːtə(r)melən[/t]] watermelons N VAR A watermelon is a large round fruit with green skin, pink flesh, and black seeds …   English dictionary

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