1. An evergreen tree (Pouteria campechiana) native to Mexico and Central America, bearing fruit having sweet, deep-yellow flesh with the texture of hard-boiled egg yolk.
2. The fruit of this tree. In both senses also called eggfruit.
[Cuban and Central American Spanish, from a Mayan source such as Yucatec Maya k'aniste', canistel, probably literally, “tree bearing yellow fruit like sweet potatoes” : k'an, yellow + iis, sweet potato (in reference to the taste and texture of canistel fruit) + te', tree.]
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.