plural gourds
: 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

see also out of one's gourd

Examples of gourd in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Artists from the San Dieguito Art Guild will be in the gardens, showing and selling their work, ranging from paintings, ceramics, gourd and fiber arts to photography and jewelry. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2024 Highlights include Kumeyaay bird singing, gourd dancing, inter-tribal dancing and honoring of community leaders. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2024 Ritchie directs the first two episodes and all his staples are there — double crosses, suave attire, handsome interiors, bursts of violence and quirky secondary characters (my fave: the stoned-out-of-his gourd cannabis expert Henry Collins, played by Max Beesley.). Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 6 Mar. 2024 Indiana ranks as the top state for three products: popcorn, gourds and ducks. The Indianapolis Star, 22 Feb. 2024 Here, mums in both pink and white in containers of different sizes and shapes make an eye-catching display, along with gourds, pumpkins, and tall, wispy grasses. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Jan. 2024 Artists from the San Dieguito Art Guild will be in the gardens — showing and selling their paintings, ceramics, glass, gourd art, fiber arts, photography, jewelry and more. Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2024 Also, demonstrations, sale of wood and gourd art objects, raffles, auctions and banquet. Michelle Jenkins, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 Bluegrass is performed by Shannon Leigh and the Good Bygones, Line Drive, Patuxent Partners, and Big Howdy, and family-friendly activities include pumpkin and gourd painting. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023

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

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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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