tomato

[tuh-mey-toh, -mah-]
noun, plural tomatoes.
1.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Lycopersicon, of the nightshade family, native to Mexico and Central and South America, especially the widely cultivated species L. lycopersicum, bearing a mildly acid, pulpy, usually red fruit eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable.
2.
the fruit itself.
3.
Older Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a girl or woman.

Origin:
1595–1605; 1915–20 for def 3; earlier tomate < Spanish < Nahuatl tomatl

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World English Dictionary
tomato (təˈmɑːtəʊ)
 
n , pl -toes
1.  a solanaceous plant, Lycopersicon (or Lycopersicum) esculentum, of South America, widely cultivated for its red fleshy many-seeded edible fruits
2.  the fruit of this plant, which has slightly acid-tasting flesh and is eaten in salads, as a vegetable, etc
3.  slang (US), (Canadian) a girl or woman
 
[C17 tomate, from Spanish, from Nahuatl tomatl]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tomato
1753, earlier tomate (1604), from Sp. tomate (1554) from Nahuatl tomatl "a tomato," lit. "the swelling fruit," from tomana "to swell." Spelling probably influenced by potato (1565). A member of the nightshade family, which all contain poisonous alkaloids. Introduced in Europe from the New World, by 1550
they were regularly consumed in Italy but only grown as ornamental plants in England and not eaten there or in the U.S. at first. An encyclopedia of 1753 describes it as "a fruit eaten either stewed or raw by the Spaniards and Italians and by the Jew families of England." Introduced in U.S. as part of a program by Sec. of State Thomas Jefferson (1789), but not commonly eaten until after c.1830. Alternative name love apple and alleged aphrodisiac qualities have not been satisfactorily explained; perhaps from It. name pomodoro, taken as from adorare "to adore," but probably actually from d'or "of gold" (in reference to color) or de Moro "of the Moors." Slang meaning "an attractive girl" is recorded from 1929.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

tomato definition


  1. n.
    an attractive girlor woman. : A good-looking tomato brought me my change.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
Serve alone, or serve on a bed of lettuce or spinach along with sliced tomatoes.
Ripe tomatoes cannot normally be trucked long distances because they spoil too
  quickly.
Homegrown tomatoes are one of the great joys of summer.
He spent less than a few dollars on a postcard, some tomatoes or something and
  stamps.
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