variants or litchi or less commonly lichee
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.

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Throughout the night, Selena, Nicola, Selena's nine-year-old sister, Gracie Elliot Teefey, and other friends enjoyed food prepared by Brooklyn, as well as fresh lychee martinis. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Nov. 2022 Step into the Crown of Corellia Dining Room for a Blue Milk Citrus Fizz, made of lychee, lime and blue-milk sorbet, or the Seared Kashyyyk Whitefish—a culinary nod to Chewbacca's home populated with Wookiees. Sonal Dutt, Peoplemag, 22 Sep. 2022 Some restaurants will use special types of wood, such as camphor wood or lychee wood, to give the bird a special smoky taste. Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN, 13 Oct. 2022 Extremely aromatic on the nose, with hints of grapefruit on the palate, this one has teeth-chattering acidity and notes of lemon-lime, passion fruit and lychee. Aaron Goldfarb, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2022 Or Vana retreat in India, set on the slopes of a lychee and mango plantation, is an international ashram, a wellness retreat and sanctuary. Joanne Shurvell, Forbes, 18 May 2022 The vegan cocktails spotlight Asian ingredients such as lychee and five-spice. Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 Screening of Thailand’s shipments of longan—a fleshy lychee-like fruit—led to the quarantining of sellers, buyers and store visitors earlier this month. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, 18 Jan. 2022 For gifts during holidays, CATL sends lychee and loquat fruit grown on Ningde’s outskirts. New York Times, 22 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


Chinese (Beijing) lìzhī

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lychee was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near lychee

Cite this Entry

“Lychee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



variants or litchi also lichee
: the oval fruit of a Chinese tree related to the soapberries and having a hard reddish outer covering and sweet whitish edible flesh surrounding a single large seed

called also lychee nut

: a tree bearing lychees

More from Merriam-Webster on lychee

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