pi·​taya pə-ˈtī-ə How to pronounce pitaya (audio)
variants or pitahaya
plural pitayas or pitahayas
: any of several erect, sprawling, or vining cacti (as of the genera Selenicereus, Hylocereus, or Sternocereus) of Central and South America and Mexico that have large colorful fruits : dragon fruit sense 2
… he was enthusiastic about the prospects of the pitahaya, which is grown in Central America and in Asia, where it's known as dragon fruit.John Seabrook
: the large, usually red, yellow, or white oval or oblong fruit of a pitaya that typically has leathery skin with prominent scaly spikes and a juicy flesh with many tiny black seeds : dragon fruit sense 1
Native to Central and South America, where it's called pitaya or pitahaya, the fruit traveled to Southeast Asia with the French more than a century ago.A. R. Williams

Examples of pitaya in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Miguel spends hours removing the spikes from the fresh pitaya to prep the fruit for the paletas and ice cream. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2023 The list now contains the same pitaya (dragon fruit) base with coconut cream, canola oil, onion powder, ranch flavoring and the addition of shelf-safe ingredients and is packaged in a 13-ounce glass bottle with a white top instead of the transparent plastic squirt bottle with the yellow top. Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2023 This eye-catching potion gets its hot pink hue from pink pitaya, also known as dragon fruit. Anna Haines, Forbes, 22 June 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pitaya was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near pitaya

Cite this Entry

“Pitaya.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pitaya. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!