1. See bottle gourd.
2. A tropical American tree (Crescentia cujete) bearing hard-shelled, gourdlike fruits on the trunk and main branches. Also called calabash tree.
3. The fruit of either of these or related plants.
a. A utensil, container, or musical instrument made from the dried, hollowed-out shell of these fruits.
b. A smoking pipe with a curved stem and a large bowl made from the shell of a gourd.
[French calebasse, gourd, from Spanish calabaza; perhaps akin to Spanish carapacho, tortoise shell, shell of a crab or other arthropod, and galápago, tortoise, and of pre-Roman origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.