- A large pear- or melon-shaped fruit to 20 cm long, from the tree Carica papaya which grows in most tropical and sub-tropical regions and is second only in importance to the banana amongst tropical fruit. When ripe it has a yellow/orange skin and a juicy pink/orange flesh tasting like a mixture of roses, peaches and strawberries with many black seeds in a central cavity. The unripe fruit can be boiled and used as a vegetable in the same way as a marrow. The juice contains the protease papain and the seeds may be used as a condiment.
- noun a greenish-yellow tropical fruit with a soft pulp which is eaten raw