cal·​a·​bash ˈka-lə-ˌbash How to pronounce calabash (audio)
: a tropical American tree (Crescentia cujete) of the bignonia family
also : its large hard-shelled globose fruit
: gourd
especially : one whose hard shell is used for a utensil
: a utensil (such as a bottle or dipper) made from the shell of a calabash

Examples of calabash in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Spa therapies incorporate calabash gourds, Eastern modalities, and red hematite body masks à la the iconic Himba women. Kathryn Romeyn, Travel + Leisure, 17 July 2023 Inside a series of colorful huts, purveyors sell crafted items like bird feeders made from calabash pods. Pamela Wright,, 12 Jan. 2023 For instance, the Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, resembles a calabash and is a perfect example of what can happen when art, culture, and soccer are successfully interwoven. Meron Demisse, Quartz, 27 Oct. 2022 The label features the calabash, a traditional clay drinking vessel. Melanie Van Zyl, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2022 My father’s favorite sound was the sound of the kora, a harp-like instrument with twenty-one strings held taut between a wooden neck and a calabash body. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 For instance, because traditional beer remains very much a rural cottage industry, these brewers tend to rely on hand tools, open flames, wooden vessels and calabash shells or clay jugs as communal cups to serve their customers. Tara Nurin, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 The spice mixture includes calabash nutmeg, negro pepper (also called uda seeds), and alligator pepper seeds. Saveur, 8 May 2017 There are South African Nguni cattle skins, handmade Zulu ceramics, string art, baskets and beadwork, and lights made of reed and wood fishing baskets or calabash gourds, used by local farmers to collect water. Pamela Wright,, 9 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'calabash.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French & Spanish; French calebasse gourd, from Spanish calabaza

First Known Use

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of calabash was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near calabash

Cite this Entry

“Calabash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


cal·​a·​bash ˈkal-ə-ˌbash How to pronounce calabash (audio)
: gourd sense 2
especially : one whose hard shell is used for a utensil (as a bottle)

More from Merriam-Webster on calabash

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