cer·​i·​man ˈser-ə-mən How to pronounce ceriman (audio) -ˌman How to pronounce ceriman (audio) -ˌmän How to pronounce ceriman (audio)
plural cerimans
: a monstera (Monstera deliciosa) of southern Mexico to Panama that is often grown as a houseplant and that has large, glossy, deeply incised or perforated leaves, an erect floral spadix enclosed in a white to yellow concave bract, and an elongated, scaly, sweet fruit
The monstera or ceriman from Mexico … can be allowed to climb up existing trees, or grow along the ground in open areas.Gene Joyner
also : the fruit of the ceriman
An exotic foreign fruit called the monstera, or ceriman, tastes like a combination of banana and pineapple. Charleston (West Virginia) Daily Mail

Note: The ceriman is also known as Mexican breadfruit, split-leaf philodendron, and Swiss cheese plant.

Word History


probably borrowed from American Spanish cerimán, of obscure origin

Note: The English word first appears in descriptions of the flora of Trinidad (Hermann Crüger, Outline of the Flora of Trinidad, London, 1858, p. 21; Louis Antoine Aimé de Verteuil, Trinidad: Its Geography, Natural Resources, Administration, Present Condition, and Prospects, London, 1858, p. 109). The possibly erroneous variants cerinam and casiman occur in English in the twentieth century. In the monograph Flora de Cuba by Manuel Gómez de la Maza y Jiménez and Juan Tomás Roig y Mesa (Estación Experimental Agronómica de Cuba, Boletín no. 22, diciembre, 1914), cerimán is reported to be the name of the plant in Mexico ("En Méjico le dicen cerimán," p. 34). However, textual evidence for earlier use of the name in Mexico appears to be lacking.

First Known Use

1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ceriman was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near ceriman

Cite this Entry

“Ceriman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceriman. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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