ly·​chee | \ ˈlē-(ˌ)chē How to pronounce lychee (audio) , ˈlī- How to pronounce lychee (audio) \
variants: or or less commonly lichee

Definition of lychee

1 or lychee nut or litchi nut or less commonly lichee nut : the small, oval to roundish fruit of a Chinese tree (Litchi chinensis) of the soapberry family having a rough or warty, yellow, pink, or reddish leathery rind and sweet to slightly acidic usually whitish edible flesh that surrounds a single large seed

Note: The lychee, grown commercially in tropical and subtropical regions, is a type of fruit called a drupe, and its edible flesh is the fruit's aril.

2 : a slow-growing tree that bears lychees and has glossy, leathery leaves and terminal clusters of tiny, apetalous, greenish-white to yellow flowers

Examples of lychee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The produce section was stocked with typical American grocery offerings, including apples and strawberries, but also more hard-to-find items such as pink and green dragon fruit and bags of fresh lychee with reddish brown rinds. Shaena Montanari, azcentral, "Arizona's first H Mart grocery store is now open in Mesa. Here's what it's like inside," 11 June 2020 Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with treats like lychee seltzer, yuzu bon bons, garam masala artisanal spices and Himalayan tea — all from independent Asian American producers. NBC News, "Order these delicious artisanal Asian snacks for summer," 18 May 2020 Tastea offers mix-in options such as lychee, jackfruit, and aloe vera, which deliver the same eating-while-drinking satisfaction of the tapioca pearls in traditional boba drinks. Los Angeles Times, "8 boba spots in the SGV," 2 Oct. 2019 In China and Japan too, elite women and some men used white lead preparations and rice powder to achieve complexions resembling white jade or fresh lychee. Lynn M. Thomas, Quartz Africa, "There’s a complex history of skin lighteners in Africa and beyond," 9 Mar. 2020 Ackee — a member of the soapberry family, along with fruits like lychee, rambutan and longan — can be toxic when underripe or improperly handled, so canned product from approved producers is the only (legal) way to try it in the States. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "South Phoenix has a new destination for Jamaican food. Here's what on the Island Vybz menu," 24 Feb. 2020 In the middle of the cake, Chou slides in a lychee gelée. Rachel Karten, Bon Appétit, "How Do I Love Thee, Chinese Sponge Cake? Let Me Count the Layers," 24 Feb. 2020 On a recent night, his team passed out free samples from the restaurant’s drink menu, which includes a hibiscus-lychee jamaica agua fresca with chia seeds, and a robust Thai tea spiked with horchata. Los Angeles Times, "In Lakewood, our critic considers burnt cheese tacos and carne asada mac ’n’ cheese," 2 Oct. 2019 Dessert options include chocolate raspberry crémeux with lychee and raspberry sorbet. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, "Plan a special Valentine’s Day meal at one of these D-FW restaurants," 7 Feb. 2020

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

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First Known Use of lychee

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lychee

Chinese (Beijing) lìzhī

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Time Traveler for lychee

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The first known use of lychee was in 1588

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lychee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for lychee


How to pronounce lychee (audio) How to pronounce lychee (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lychee

: the fruit of an Asian tree that has a hard outer covering and a seed surrounded by sweet flesh also : the tree that produces this fruit

More from Merriam-Webster on lychee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lychee Encyclopedia article about lychee

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