• (RP) IPA: /ˈkæləbæʃ/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈkæləˌbæʃ/

calabash (plural calabashes)

  1. A tree (known as the calabash tree; Crescentia cujete) native#Adjective|native to Central and South America, the West Indies, and southern Florida, bear#Verb|bearing large, round#Adjective|round fruit#Noun|fruit used to make containers (sense 3); the fruit of this tree.
  2. The bottle gourd (calabash vine, Lagenaria siceraria), believed to have originated in Africa, which is grown for its fruit that are used as a vegetable and to make containers (sense 3); the fruit of this plant.
    Synonyms: dudhi, lauki
  3. A container made from the mature#Adjective|mature, dried#Adjective|dried shell#Noun|shell of the fruit of one of the above plants; also, a similarly shaped#Adjective|shaped container made from some other material#Noun|material.
    • 1851 November 13, Herman Melville, “Wheelbarrow” and “The Prophet”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299 ↗, pages 65 and 105 ↗:
      [page 65 ↗] The people of his island of Rokovoko, it seems, at their wedding feasts express the fragrant water of young cocoanuts into a large stained calabash like a punchbowl; and this punchbowl always forms the great central ornament on the braided mat where the feast is held. [...] [page 105 ↗] [I]t seemed to me that he was dogging us, but with what intent I could not for the life of me imagine. This circumstance, coupled with his ambiguous, half-hinting, half-revealing, shrouded sort of talk, now begat in me all kinds of vague wonderments and half-apprehensions, and all connected with the Pequod; and Captain Ahab; and the leg he had lost; and the Cape Horn fit; and the silver calabash; [...]
  4. A calabash and its contents; as much as fill#Verb|fills such a container.
  5. (musical instrument) A musical instrument, most commonly a drum#Noun|drum or rattle#Noun|rattle, made from a calabash fruit.
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: calebasse
  • Italian: calabassa
  • Portuguese: cuia
  • Russian: калаба́ш
  • Spanish: guacal (Central America), jícara (Central America), tecomate (Central America)

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