Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A variety of melon (Cucumis melo var. reticulatus) having a tan rind with netlike ridges and a sweet fragrant orange flesh.
  • n. Any of several other related or similar melons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of melon, Cucumis melo reticulatus, with sweet orange flesh and a rough skin resembling netting; also known as muskmelon or rockmelon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A muskmelon of several varieties, having when mature, a yellowish skin, and flesh of a reddish orange color.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a variety of muskmelon vine having fruit with a tan rind and orange flesh
  • n. the fruit of a cantaloup vine; small to medium-sized melon with yellowish flesh

Etymologies

French cantaloup, perhaps from Italian cantalupo (from Cantalupo, a former papal villa near Rome) or from Cantaloup, a village of southern France.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian Cantalupo (a place name), after a former Papal summer estate near Rome, where the melons were first grown after being introduced to Europe. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The shot of me air guitaring in the produce section while a grocery store employee loads cantaloupe is one of my faves.

    The Pitch does a coverstory on Mean Melin! » Scene-Stealers

  • Suddenly all that aggressive sweetness of the cantaloupe is balanced, and I can taste complexity!

    Have I Unlocked the Secret of the Universe?

  • The fruit we call the cantaloupe is really a muskmelon.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • The first appearance of the word cantaloupe in English was in 1739 in Philip Miller's

    podictionary - for word lovers - dictionary etymology, trivia & history

  • He presents them with gifts, a cantaloupe, which is more valuable in Japan and considered a traditional gift, and Johnnie Walker Red.

    Samantha Zalaznick: Mad Men Recap: The Shame Game

  • Older people seem to like cantaloupe, which is sweet, soft and easy to chew, and they may be inclined to refrigerate uneaten portions, not knowing that listeria bacteria can survive the cold temperatures, he added.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • Also checked out the Grapevine Museum, where I learned that Grapevine was once known as the cantaloupe capital of the world.

    statesman.com - Highschool

  • Post-stage on the team bus, which also has its own refrigerator, riders snack on white rice and eggs drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (which Mr. Lim says helps speed the rate the body is able to absorb precious energy stores) and also light, fresh dishes such as cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto or mozzarella and tomato caprese salad.

    The Moving Feast

  • Melon is similar to cantaloupe in the U.S., only comparing the posturing hack that is "cantaloupe" to the French Charentais melon is like comparing Johnny Hallyday to Elvis.

    La Coquette:

  • Market Master Bob Mann said corn is not producing as well this summer, as evident by its absence Sunday, while other crops, such as cantaloupe, have been late in ripening this summer.

    The Journal

Comments

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  • Interesting etymology:

    Origin: 1730–40; < F, allegedly after Cantaluppi, a papal estate near Rome where cultivation of this melon is said to have begun in Europe, though a comparable Italian word is not attested until much later than the French word, and Cantaloup, a village in Languedoc, has also been proposed as the source.

    February 9, 2007