noun physa·lis \ˈfīsələ̇s, ˈfis-; fīˈsalə̇s\

Definition of physalis

  1. 1 capitalized :  a large genus of low-growing chiefly American annual or perennial herbs (family Solanaceae) that have an angled campanulate corolla and an inflated and sometimes brightly colored calyx enclosing a fruit which is a greenish or yellow 2-celled globular berry and that include several plants which are cultivated for their edible fruit or their showy calyxes — see cape gooseberry, chinese lantern plant, ground-cherry, strawberry tomato

  2. 2 plural -es :  any plant of the genus Physalis

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of physalis

New Latin, modification of Late Greek physallis Chinese lantern plant, from Greek, bladder, bubble

Seen and Heard

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


to criticize severely

Get Word of the Day daily email!