variants: or less commonly

Definition of pawpaw

1 \ pə-​ˈpȯ How to pronounce pə-ˈpȯ (audio) \ : papaya
2 \ ˈpä-​(ˌ)pȯ How to pronounce ˈpä-(ˌ)pȯ (audio) , ˈpȯ-​ \ : a North American tree (Asimina triloba) of the custard-apple family with purple flowers and an edible green-skinned fruit also : its fruit

Examples of pawpaw in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Humans have eaten pawpaw in North America for thousands of years. Andrew Moore, Good Housekeeping, "A Beginner's Guide To Growing Pawpaw—The Delicious Fruit You're Not Eating," 12 Jan. 2018 Smaller trees available were Chinese dogwood, eastern redbud, serviceberry, pawpaw, golden raintree and witch hazel. Carol Kovach,, "Chilly, soggy weather didn't stop Keep Lakewood Beautiful volunteers from sprucing up the city," 29 Apr. 2018 Stephanie Boudreau and Chris Lesjak brought their daughter, Sophia, 3, to the nursery to get a pawpaw tree for the backyard and a magnolia for the side yard. Colin Campbell,, "Herring Run Nursery hosts Earth Day tree giveaway to help 'keep Baltimore green'," 22 Apr. 2018 Eyeing an Eastern red cedar for the side yard? Perusing pawpaws for the back? Frank Kummer,, "How to get a free tree for your Philly home," 12 Mar. 2018 In 1990, Kentucky State University began a research program with the aim of developing pawpaw as a new, tree-fruit crop for Kentucky. Sarah Stolz,, "Hunting for pawpaws a cherished Ky. tradition," 17 Sep. 2017 Zebra swallowtail butterfly larvae feed exclusively on pawpaw foliage. Sarah Stolz,, "Hunting for pawpaws a cherished Ky. tradition," 17 Sep. 2017 Since its exotic appeal can be diminished when the fruit is cooked, McDermott suggests churning pawpaws into ice cream. Jill Warren Lucas, charlotteobserver, "Southern Living deemed her cake cookbook ‘essential.’ How about her fruit cookbook?," 8 Aug. 2017 The ingredients include pawpaws, blackberries and hops sourced from various Kentucky farms and food producers. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "If Kentucky had a state beer, what would it be?," 7 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pawpaw.' 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 pawpaw

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pawpaw

probably modification of Spanish papaya

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The first known use of pawpaw was in 1624

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More Definitions for pawpaw


variants: also papaw

Kids Definition of pawpaw

1 \ pə-​ˈpȯ \ : papaya
2 \ ˈpä-​pȯ , ˈpȯ \ : the greenish or yellow edible fruit of a North American tree with purple flowers


Medical Definition of pawpaw

variant of

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More from Merriam-Webster on pawpaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pawpaw

Nglish: Translation of pawpaw for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pawpaw

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What made you want to look up pawpaw? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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