pa·​pa·​ya pə-ˈpī-ə How to pronounce papaya (audio)
: a tropical American tree (Carica papaya of the family Caricaceae, the papaya family) having an oblong to globose yellow edible fruit with numerous black seeds in a central cavity
also : its fruit

Examples of papaya in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Salicylic acid and papaya enzymes refine and clarify your skin quickly without causing irritation. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2024 Beyond cantaloupe, there’s a number of fruits that tout similar health benefits — grapefruit, pomegranate and papaya are also considered to be high-potassium, high-fiber, and antioxidant-rich foods, according to studies. Caroline C. Boyle, USA TODAY, 19 May 2024 The next day, place papaya in a colander and rinse with running water, using cheese cloth or a napkin strain out as much liquid as possible. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 May 2024 The couple already had a son of their own living at their ranch-style house in a working class part of La Puente, with a papaya tree out front and a rubber tree in the back. Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2024 Uh oh, Joe needs to discuss something with his supplier because this papaya has been dried to shoe leather. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 25 Apr. 2024 Fruit trees Plant subtropical fruit trees now: citrus, avocado, guava, banana, papaya (along the coast only), jaboticaba, mango, coffee, etc. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Apr. 2024 In addition to potent acids, the treatment also has pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple enzymes for additional exfoliating power. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2024 Some hot dogs, made with beef and served on a potato bun, are topped with ingredients such as papaya, french onions or homemade beer cheese. The Courier-Journal, 22 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


Spanish, of American Indian origin; akin to Arawak papáia papaya

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of papaya was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near papaya

Cite this Entry

“Papaya.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pa·​pa·​ya pə-ˈpī-ə How to pronounce papaya (audio)
: an oblong edible yellow fruit with many black seeds that grows on a tropical American tree with large leaves
also : the tree

Medical Definition


pa·​pa·​ya pə-ˈpī-ə How to pronounce papaya (audio)
: a tropical American tree of the genus Carica (C. papaya) with large oblong yellow edible fruit
also : its fruit which is the source of papain

More from Merriam-Webster on papaya

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