/ pəpaɪə /
papaia · pawpaw · papaya tree · melon tree · Carica papaya
1. Large oval melon-like tropical fruit with yellowish flesh.
2. Tropical American shrub or small tree having huge deeply palmately cleft leaves and large oblong yellow fruit; SYN. papaia, pawpaw, papaya tree, melon tree, Carica papaya.
Tropical tree Carica papaya of the family Caricaceae, native from Florida to South America. Varieties are grown throughout the tropics. The edible fruits resemble a melon, with orange-colored flesh and numerous blackish seeds in the central cavity; they may weigh up to 9 kg/20 lb.
The fruit juice and the tree sap contain papain, an enzyme used to tenderize meat and aid digestion.