: any of a family (Cucurbitaceae, the gourd family) of chiefly herbaceous tendril-bearing vines including the cucumber, melon, squash, and pumpkin
: the fruit of a gourd : pepo
especially : any of various hard-rinded inedible fruits of plants of two genera (Lagenaria and Cucurbita) often used for ornament or for vessels and utensils
Walking through the various barrios, you might see people sharing sips from a little gourd with a straw in it. Bruce Sanderson
… a basketball-size gourd draped with a veil of wooden beads—to incite individual bursts of improvisation from the orchestra's players. The New Yorker
out of one's gourd
US, informal
or less commonly off one's gourd : out of one's mind : crazy
… comes off like a cross between two Hogans, the Aussie actor Paul and the American wrestler Hulk—completely out of his gourd, but essentially likable. People Weekly
… these people are loud, abusive, occasionally maniacal, often colossally boorish and notoriously primed under certain circumstances to go totally off their gourds. Curry Kirkpatrick
used as an intensive
was frightened out of her gourd [=extremely frightened]It's eleven against two, and the two are probably stoned out of their gourds. Stephen KingPerhaps it is not too late for American kids to be given the gift of enforced boredom for at least a week or two, staring into space, bored out of their gourds, exploring the inside of their own heads. Anna Quindlen

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The instrument has a flat neck, ornamented with crosses and diamonds, that passes through the gourd, its horse-hair strings stretched over a sound board of animal skin. David Yezzi, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2022 Andrusz's winning gourd will be on display at the fall festival through Oct. 16. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2022 The pumpkin's owner earned $5,500 in winnings at the World Pumpkin Weigh-Off thanks to the record-setting gourd, according to ABC affiliate WABC. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 4 Oct. 2022 Apples are accessible, affordable and ready to use right away — no cans, no wrangling and roasting a giant gourd required. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2022 But that didn’t guarantee anything, since a visibly smaller gourd could always be denser, Gienger, 42, told The Washington Post. Andrea Salcedo, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2022 Arriving at your seat, you’ll be greeted by four cold hors d’oeuvres representing life’s four flavors: Sour (black beans and vinegar), Sweet (sliced yam), Bitter (bitter gourd) and Spicy (fried anchovies). Tori Latham, Robb Report, 30 Aug. 2022 Greet visitors throughout the season with this friendly gourd. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Sep. 2022 This craft is definitely for an adult and child to create together, but little hands will love helping decorate this sweet gourd cottage and keeping an eye out for the gnomes that are surely going to move in. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gourd.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English gourde, from Anglo-French gurde, gourde, from Latin cucurbita

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of gourd was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gourd

Cite this Entry

“Gourd.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gourd. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



: any of a family of tendril-bearing vines (as the cucumber, melon, squash, and pumpkin)
: the usually hard-shell many-seeded fruit of a gourd

More from Merriam-Webster on gourd

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