car·​am·​bo·​la ˌker-əm-ˈbō-lə How to pronounce carambola (audio)
: a 5-angled green to yellow tropical fruit of star-shaped cross section

called also star fruit

: a tropical tree (Averrhoa carambola) of the wood-sorrel family that is native to southeastern Asia and is widely cultivated for carambolas

Examples of carambola in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mature carambola trees can withstand temperature dips to around 26 degrees for a short period of time, but young trees are more susceptible to the cold. Tom MacCubbin,, 24 Oct. 2020 This tropical fruit, also known as carambola, comes in sweet and tart varieties and has a juicy texture similar to pineapple. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 4 July 2017 In addition to the assortment of natives, including gumbo limbo, dwarf firebush and Florida slash pine, the city has added an assortment of fruit trees: mango, lychee and carambola, or starfruit. Elizabeth Roberts,, 15 June 2017 And everyone can try 40 varieties of Brazil’s exotic fruits like caju, acai, carambola, caqui, goiaba and maracuja, often squeezed into Brazil’s delicious juices (sucos in Portuguese). The Associated Press, New York Times, 14 May 2016

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

Word History


borrowed from Portuguese, probably borrowed from a Konkani equivalent of Marathi karambala, going back to a derivative of Sanskrit karmara- "the fruit or tree Averrhoa carambola" (as karmaraṅga- or karmaphala- —with phalaṃ "fruit"), of uncertain origin

Note: The Marathi word is recorded in J. T. Molesworth's A Dictionary, Marathi and English (Bombay, 1857), along with the variants kamarakha, karamara, karamaḷa.

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carambola was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near carambola

Cite this Entry

“Carambola.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


car·​am·​bo·​la ˌkar-əm-ˈbō-lə How to pronounce carambola (audio)
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