to·ma·to | \ tə-ˈmā-(ˌ)tō ; 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

Now restaurants are searching for tomatoes grown like this for their customers. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "With drought always a threat, we all need to learn our water lessons," 16 June 2018 Kim Sunee also has a great recipe for fried green tomatoes, which go pretty well with gin. Anchorage Daily News, "How Alaska Eats: Make the historic Alaska cocktail (and other local food notes)," 15 June 2018 Every summer for nearly the past three decades, Stanton Vanklompenburg has spent countless hours tending the tomato, pepper and cucumber plants growing in his 25-by-30-foot plot at a community garden in Arlington Heights. Karen Ann Cullotta,, "$5.8 million flood-control project to uproot community garden in Arlington Heights," 10 July 2018 More often, my decision is to leave well enough alone, to cut the tomatoes into wedges and drizzle them with the best olive oil, to boil the corn and lavishly butter it, to eat the snap peas out of hand. Jessica Battilana,, "Repertoire: Apricot toast is the summer grilling recipe you need," 10 July 2018 Grill about 15-18 minutes or until the tomatoes burst. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Caprese salad meets grilled bread in this easy summer appetizer," 8 July 2018 Add the tomatoes and scallions to the bowl and toss. Linda Gassenheimer, charlotteobserver, "Clams and spaghettini make an easy dinner for 2," 6 July 2018 Place the tomato, onion, bread and greens in a mixing bowl. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Ciao Ristorante is Italian food with the ultimate Sicilian twist," 3 July 2018 Purée until the tomatoes are completely broken down. Catherine M. Allchin, The Seattle Times, "After an epic ecological comeback, the local, versatile rockfish has become a restaurant rock star," 27 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to tomato

tomato ketchup

Statistics for tomato

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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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 , -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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Comments on tomato

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