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

Around the back, my fruit trees and tomato plants are completely ruined, with only one small blackberry bush still alive. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fallout 76 journal, day 4: the bombs are falling," 26 Nov. 2018 Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until jammy and sticky, 5-8 minutes more. Max Falkowitz, WSJ, "Flake News: Fresh Coconut Is Delicious," 23 Nov. 2018 Turn; add cherry tomatoes, rosemary and fennel seeds; drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then roast until chicken is just cooked through and tomatoes have begun to break down, 12 to 15 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Herb-Roasted Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes," 9 Oct. 2018 Add the grape tomatoes, olives, and mini balls of mozzarella. The Washington Post,, "Here's a grilled corn recipe that's healthy and hands-off," 22 May 2018 Next Asiyah Mayfield-West and Makayla Major added the tomatoes after the chicken had been browned., "Spice blend gave Chicken TIkka Masala a wonderful aroma," 2 May 2018 Unlike its relatives, the meat is shaved off into thin slices and then wrapped in a piece of pita with lettuce, tomato, and onion with lashings of garlic sauce. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Love Letter To The Döner Kebab," 1 Oct. 2018 The half-pound burgers are a hit, like the southwest, which comes with fresh sliced avocado, pepper jack cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and a bistro sauce. Jane Donahue, Naperville Sun, "Get a taste of Up North at new Naperville ale house," 10 July 2018 For lunch, pick a sandwich, omit the cream cheese and add lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo. Doreen Christensen,, "Free breakfast or lunch sandwich at Einstein Bros. during July 4th week," 2 July 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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Statistics for tomato

Last Updated

8 Dec 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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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

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


a nest or breeding place

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