variants: or chilicojote \ ˌchiləkəˈyōtē \
plural -s

Definition of chilacayote

1 : any of several gourds of Mexico and the southwestern U.S. (as Echinocystis fabacea, E. marah, Cucurbita ficifolia, and C. foetidissima) or their fruits
2 : the pulp of a chilacayote fruit

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History and Etymology for chilacayote

chilacoyote borrowed from Mexican Spanish, borrowed from Nahuatl tzilacayohtli, chilacayohtli, from tzilac-, chilac-, element of uncertain origin + ayohtli “squash, calabash”; chili cojote, chili-cojote, alteration of chilacoyote (perhaps directly from an unrecorded form in 19th-century California Spanish)

Note: For Nahuatl attestations see Frances Karttunen, An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl, University of Texas Press, 1983, s.v. tzilacayohtli.

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Cite this Entry

“Chilacayote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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