Meaning of calabash in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkaləbaʃ/

Translate calabash into Spanish


  • 1

    (also calabash tree)
    An evergreen tropical American tree which bears fruit in the form of large woody gourds.

    Crescentia cujete, family Bignoniaceae

    ‘On Lovers' Lane nearby, some young men and women were flirting, while in the corner under a calabash tree some older men sat debating as to whether or not pawpaw leaves were the best bait for catching angel fish.’
    • ‘Across the street, the fat man sporting aviator shades and a floppy straw hat loitered behind a calabash tree perusing the Bermuda Sun.’
    • ‘In the early part of the 1800s, the area was extensively planted with maize, potatoes, kumara, taro, calabashes, melons and pumpkins.’
    • ‘The picturesque trail winds from swamplands tangled with black mangroves to forests; past mango, tamarind, and calabash trees and delicate wild banana orchids to grassy glades dotted with palm trees.’
    • ‘The evening air was damp with exotic exhalations; Surinam cherry and blossoming calabash trees lined the property.’
    1. 1.1A gourd from the calabash tree.
      ‘Peul musicians play handcrafted flutes, drums, and string instruments, and they use calabashes to beat out rhythms.’
      • ‘The Mayumbe near the coast paint calabashes, decorating them with hunting scenes and colorful geometric designs.’
      • ‘They also make calabashes (decorated gourds used as utensils).’
      • ‘The intricately beaded calabashes and carvings indicate this tribal king's royal status.’
      • ‘They also take care of calves and clean, sterilize, and decorate calabashes (gourds).’
      • ‘The traditional kora, a stringed calabash instrument, symbolizes the singing poet tradition in the country.’
      • ‘The name comes from the Inca word for a calabash: traditionally, gourds were used to make vessels for the tea.’
      • ‘Carved calabash or gourds are made into masks or filled with seeds to rattle as maracas.’
      • ‘Some are large calabashes (a type of gourd) with leather drumheads and are played with the hands.’
      • ‘Artists cast sculptures in bronze and brass, produce glass and metal work, and make quality leatherwork and calabash carvings.’
      • ‘A typical breakfast might consist of corn porridge eaten with a spoon made of a small, elongated calabash split in half.’
      • ‘Women engrave designs into yellow calabash gourds.’
      • ‘In Makarou they played calabashes ringed with cowrie shells, creating a wonderful sound to accompany this joyous, fast-paced dance.’
      • ‘Slipping beneath the waters off Tobago, in 1969, Hutchinson threaded five calabashes on a rope anchored to a bed of coral.’
      • ‘Dishes are served traditionally in the dried calabash - the fruit of the island's national plant.’
      • ‘Cloth, bamboo, calabash, cutlass, wood, metal, and many other materials can be used by the Grenadian artist as painting surfaces.’
      • ‘Several series of images from this visit depict techniques, ranging from weaving and basketry to pottery making and calabash carving.’
      • ‘The only reminder of the separation of crowd and performers was the visibility of costumes and the empowered medicinal calabashes worn around the neck of the dance leader.’
      • ‘Chadian craftsmen produce musical instruments of extremely high quality using materials such as wood, animal guts and horns, and calabashes.’
      • ‘Decorated with potjiekos pots, beaded dolls and calabashes, the restaurant also promises to be easy on your pocket.’
      • ‘But baskets and ornamental calabashes can't put food in the mouths of 12 people.’
      • ‘Each wears a tall conical headdress made of fresh Thaumatococcus leaves and raffia sacking on a stick frame; it ends in a calabash that fits over the wearer's face.’
      • ‘Every rap, pink, and thonk on the calabash resonated.’
      • ‘Then, when he shed the canopy, the thing looked like a large calabash, and he resembled a woman going to market with a heavy load of produce on her head.’
      • ‘While a small band is playing and singing the traditional song of San Juan, blindfolded dancers from the audience try to hit the calabash with a stick.’
      • ‘Another popular instrument is the seigureh, which consists of stones in a rope-bound calabash.’
      • ‘A calabash cut in half lengthways and attached in a corner of a likely nesting place could also attract swallows.’
      • ‘They were pictured chatting about the benefits of organic food in a food hall resplendent with purple calabash tomatoes, butternut chutney and smoked salmon from the Shetland Islands packaged in wrappers adorned with hearts.’
      • ‘Boys aged 13 wore calabash sheaths; aged 15, sheaths were of civet or wild cat fur, which they could decorate with the tail from the pelt at 17.’
      • ‘That bowl is shaped like a small flat calabash cut vertically.’
      • ‘At the funeral of Nanan Toto Kra, a Baoule Akan, Mossi men dance with calabash rattles.’
      • ‘One of the commonest African names for the xylophone, usually with calabash resonators.’
    2. 1.2A water container, tobacco pipe, or other object made from the dried shell of a calabash or a similar gourd.
      ‘The animals' shells made good calabashes for water and food.’
      • ‘Drinking water was gathered in calabashes from a spring half way up the western face, reached by a brave volunteer lowered on a flax rope.’
      • ‘Despite the fact that wooden milk pails are increasingly replaced by plastic and aluminium containers, calabashes still play an important role in the lives of the Kavango.’
      • ‘The smell of the ‘lakh’ [Senegalese food prepared from roughly kneaded millet flour, which is cooked in water and eaten with curds] cooling in the calabashes pervades the air.’
      • ‘In the grey light before dawn I woke and saw a line of women pass silently in single file with calabashes on their heads going to collect water from the muddy hollows of a dying river.’
      • ‘After about fifteen minutes of this, the dancing and drumming stopped and a clay calabash, twelve inches across, was filled with water and handed to the witch doctor, together with a small palm leaf.’
      • ‘Near another tent, a group of women were chanting to a rhythm beaten out on a makeshift drum: half a calabash upturned in a plastic basin of water, struck by a flip-flop.’
      • ‘He forced them to swallow some corn meal and some of the water he'd brought in a calabash.’
      • ‘We wash the food down with a calabash full of palm wine - it's a natural drink made from the dew and the juices of the palm tree.’
      • ‘To facilitate quick thickening of the cream the root of the munkudi plant is added to the calabash.’
      • ‘Although the Kalenjin are not well known for their handicrafts, women do make and locally sell decorated calabashes from gourds.’
      • ‘The sacks are broken open and each divided between nine women: they fill their calabashes with pulses and tear up the plastic to make bundles to put on their heads.’
      • ‘The painting raises another question: how can native Hawaiians preserve ancient traditions within the calabash of ideas and cultures that is contemporary Hawaii?’
      • ‘This went on until all the chickens had shed their blood, some into the calabash, some sprayed onto the altar and some into the stream.’
      • ‘They told stories, sung, and danced and shared the contents of the calabash!’
      • ‘Dolo is served in a calabash after having been cooked for over three days in huge jars.’
      • ‘A calabash basin consists of a basin that sits above a toilet cistern.’
      • ‘The band's rhythms are unlocked, almost floating, yet groove hard enough to provoke involuntary spine twitching in the listener, with the dual percussion attack of tambour and calabash underpinning the forest of crossrhythms.’
      tobacco pipe, briar, briar pipe, meerschaum, clay pipe


Mid 17th century from French calebasse, from Spanish calabaza, perhaps from Persian ḵarbuz ‘melon’.