pa*pa"ya(?), n. [Prob. from the native name in the West Indies; cf. Sp. papayo papaw, papaya the fruit of the papaw.] 1. (Bot.) A tree (Carica Papaya) of tropical America, belonging to the order Passiflore; called also papaw and pawpaw. It has a soft, spongy stem, eighteen or twenty feet high, crowned with a tuft of large, long-stalked, palmately lobed leaves. The milky juice of the plant is said to have the property of making meat tender.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
2. The fruit of the papaya tree; it is a dull orange-colored, melon-shaped fruit, which is eaten both raw and cooked or pickled. The fruit contains papain, a protease.
[1913 Webster + PJC]
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