the bright-red oval fruit of a Malayan, sapindaceous tree, Nephelium lappaceum, covered with soft spines, or hairs, and having a subacid taste.
the tree itself.

1700–10; < Malay, equivalent to rambut hair + -an nominalizing suffix

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World English Dictionary
rambutan (ræmˈbuːtən)
1.  a sapindaceous tree, Nephelium lappaceum, native to SE Asia, that has bright red edible fruit
2.  the fruit of this tree
[C18: from Malay, from rambut hair]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(Nephelium lappaceum), tree of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae). It is native to Malaysia, where it is commonly cultivated for its tasty fruit, also called rambutan. The bright-red, oval fruit, about the size of a small hen's egg, is covered with long, soft spines and has a tasty acid pulp. The tree grows to about 10.5-12 metres (35-40 feet)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
They will grow rice, bananas, and the spiny red fruit called rambutan.
For example, topping evolution's list of fun- fruits-yet-to-go-mainstream is the little-known rambutan.
From the light and juicy star fruit to the red and hairy rambutan, they are all worthy of a try, either whole or juiced.
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