pomegranate

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • noun a semi-tropical tree (Punica granatum) native to Asia, but now cultivated widely. The fruit are round and yellow, with masses of seeds surrounded by sweet red flesh.

Food

  • The beige to red fruit of the pomegranate tree, Punica granatum, up to 8 cm in diameter with a hard skin filled with numerous seeds each in a red, juicy, fleshy sac. Sweet varieties are eaten (rather messily) as a dessert. Seeds of the sour pomegranate have a sweet-sour taste and are used as a garnish in the Middle East. The dried, ground seeds, known as anardana, are used as a souring agent and with bread, vegetables and pulses in North India.

Travel

  • noun a fruit with yellowish pink or red skin, masses of seeds and sweet red flesh

Origin & History of “pomegranate”

The pomegranate is etymologically the ‘many-seeded apple’. The word’s ultimate ancestor was Latin mālum grānātum (mālum gave English malic ‘of apples’ (18th c.), and grānātus was derived from grānum ‘seed’, source of English grain). In vulgar Latin this became reduced to simply *grānāta, which passed into Old French as grenate (source of English grenade, so named because early grenades looked like pomegranates). before long pome ‘apple’ was added to the term, giving pome grenate – whence English pomegranate. Pome came from Latin pōmum ‘apple, fruit’, which also gave English pomade (16th c.) (an ointment so called because the original version was apple-scented), pomander (15th c.) (etymologically an ‘apple of amber’), pommel (14th c.) (etymologically a ‘little fruit’), and pomology (19th c.).
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