General English


  • noun a pear-shaped green fruit of a tree (Persea americana) which is native of South and Central America and is cultivated in Israel, Spain, the USA and elsewhere. The fruit has a high protein and fat content, making it very nutritious and an important food crop.


  • The pear shaped fruit of a species of subtropical laurel, Persea americana, with a rough, thick, green to dark brown skin, a creamy yellow flesh and a large single stone, usually eaten as a starter or salad, but also used as an ingredient of guacamole. The flesh mixed with grated nutmeg is said to be a male aphrodisiac.


  • noun the pear-shaped green fruit of a tree originally growing in South and Central America, but now cultivated in Israel, Spain, the United States and elsewhere

Origin & History of “avocado”

Anyone tucking into an avocado could well be taken aback to learn that in the south American Indian language from which the word originally came, it meant literally ‘testicle’. The Nahuatl Indians named the fruit ahuacatl ‘testicle’ on account of its shape. The Spanish conquistadors took the word over as aguacate, but before long this became altered by folk etymology (the substitution of familiar for unfamiliar forms) to avocado (literally ‘advocate’ in Spanish). when English borrowed the word, folk etymology took a hand yet again, for in the late 17th century it became known as the alligator pear, a name which survived into the 20th century.