to·​ma·​to | \ tə-ˈmā-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce tomato (audio) ; chiefly in Britain, eastern New England, northeastern Virginia, and sometimes elsewhere in cultivated speech -ˈmä-; chiefly in Northern US -ˈma-\
plural tomatoes

Definition of tomato

1 : the usually large, rounded, edible, pulpy berry of an herb (genus Solanum) of the nightshade family native to South America that is typically red but may be yellow, orange, green, or purplish in color and is eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable
2 : a plant that produces tomatoes especially : any of various varieties of a tender perennial (Solanum lycopersicum synonym Lycopersicon esculentum) widely cultivated as an annual

Examples of tomato in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In an interview with Berkeleyside, Top Hatters chef-owner DanVy Vu admitted to a love of mixing fish sauce into her spaghetti, marrying the briny umami of anchovies with the acid of tomatoes. Soleil Ho,, "With Top Hatters, San Leandro rocks a destination restaurant," 12 July 2019 Optimism was the driving factor for my spending the last few days of June and first few days of July planting tomatoes and peppers. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Plants in the ground, ready for summer," 3 July 2019 Speaking of tomatoes, there’s a whole nation to the north that will not make a Bloody Mary without clam juice. Jane Black, WSJ, "Why You Should Add Clam Juice to Your Shopping List," 24 June 2019 Variations in red barbecue sauce are measured by a balance of tomato, vinegar, sweet, and heat. Eric Velasco,, "Meet the crew who makes Birmingham’s barbecue," 3 June 2019 Early in the 20th century, a strange tomato plant took root in the northeastern United States. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "A New Green Revolution: Scientists Are Using CRISPR to Re-domesticate Fruits and Vegetables," 15 Apr. 2019 The rabbit comes to the table nestled next to three thick slices of tomatoes garnished with fresh herbs, and a wedge of lemon cut from the pile of whole lemons that decorate the top of the counter in front of the open kitchen. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Il Pollaio in North Beach: The mothership of grilled chicken," 24 Apr. 2018 There’s also a Niman Ranch beef sirloin, topped with onion, roasted tomatoes and garlic, capers, lemon, basil and seasonings. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Plum Market opens downtown Detroit store on Wednesday," 2 July 2019 South India is represented, and well, by Chettinad murgh, chicken cloaked in yogurt, chile paste and black pepper and cooked over a low fire with onions and tomatoes. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Commonwealth Indian is dressed to thrill in Rockville," 26 June 2019

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

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tomato

alteration of earlier tomate, from Spanish, from Nahuatl tomatl

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Statistics for tomato

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for tomato

The first known use of tomato was in 1604

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More Definitions for tomato


to·​ma·​to | \ tə-ˈmā-tō How to pronounce tomato (audio) , -ˈmä-\
plural tomatoes

Kids Definition of tomato

: the usually red juicy fruit of a plant related to the potato that is eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable

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More from Merriam-Webster on tomato

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tomato

Spanish Central: Translation of tomato

Nglish: Translation of tomato for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tomato for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tomato

Comments on tomato

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