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pomegranate

pomegranate (pŏm´grănĬt, pŏm´ə–), handsome deciduous and somewhat thorny large shrub or small tree (Punica granatum) belonging to the family Punicaceae, native to semitropical Asia and naturalized in the Mediterranean region in very early times. It has long been cultivated as an ornamental and for its edible fruit. The fruit, about the size of an apple, bears many seeds, each within a fleshy crimson seed coating, enclosed in a tough yellowish to deep red rind. Pomegranates are either eaten fresh or used for grenadine syrup, in which the juice of the acid fruit pulp is the chief ingredient. Grenadine syrup, sometimes made from red currants, is a flavoring for wines, cocktails, carbonated beverages, preserves, and confectionery. The astringent properties of the rind and bark have been valued medicinally for several thousand years, especially as a vermifuge. The pomegranate is now cultivated in most warm climates, to a greater extent in the Old World than in America; in North America it is grown commercially chiefly from California and Arizona south into the tropics. The fruit has long been a religious and artistic symbol. It is described in the most ancient of Asian literature. In the Old Testament, Solomon sang of an "orchard of pomegranates." Because of its role in the Greek legend of Persephone, the pomegranate came to symbolize fertility, death, and eternity and was an emblem of the Eleusinian Mysteries. In Christian art, it is a symbol of hope. Pomegranates are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Myrtales, family Punicaceae.

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pomegranate

pomegranate the pomegranate, which is a symbol of fertility, was the badge of Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536), first wife of Henry VIII.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was forced to remain for half the year in the Underworld, because during her captivity there she had eaten some pomegranate seeds.

Recorded from Middle English, the word comes from Old French pome granate, from pome ‘apple’ + grenate ‘pomegranate’ (from Latin (malum) granatum ‘(apple) having many seeds’, from granum ‘seed’).

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pomegranate

pome·gran·ate / ˈpäm(ə)ˌgranət; ˈpəmˌgranət/ • n. 1. an orange-sized fruit with a tough reddish outer skin and sweet red gelatinous flesh containing many seeds. 2. the widely cultivated tree (Punica granatum, family Punicaceae) that bears this fruit, which is native to North Africa and western Asia.

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pomegranate

pomegranate XIV (the earliest forms have poum- and metathetic -garnet, -garnade). — OF. pome grenate, p. garnate, etc., i.e. pome (:- Rom. *pōma for L. pōmum) apple, grenate (mod. grenade) pomegranate:- Rom. *grānāta for L. grānātum, ‘having many seeds’ (see GRAIN).

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pomegranate

pomegranate The fruit of the subtropical tree Punica granatum. The juice is contained in a pulpy sac surrounding each of a mass of seeds; the outer skin contains tannin and is therefore bitter. The sweet juice is used to prepare grenadine syrup for alcoholic and fruit drinks.

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pomegranate

pomegranate Deciduous shrub or small tree native to w Asia. It has shiny, oval leaves and orange-red flowers. The round fruit has a red, leathery rind and numerous seeds coated with edible pulp. Family Punicaceae; species Punica granatum.

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pomegranate

pomegranate See PUNICACEAE.

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pomegranate

pomegranatedammit, Hammett, Mamet •emmet, semmit •helmet, pelmet •remit • limit • kismet • climate •comet, grommet, vomit •Goldschmidt •plummet, summit •Hindemith •hermit, Kermit, permit •gannet, granite, Janet, planet •magnet • Hamnett • pomegranate •Barnet, garnet •Bennett, genet, jennet, rennet, senate, sennet, sennit, tenet •innit, linnet, minute, sinnet •cygnet, signet •cabinet • definite • Plantagenetbonnet, sonnet •cornet, hornet •unit •punnet, whodunnit (US whodunit) •bayonet • dragonet • falconet •baronet • coronet •alternate, burnet •sandpit • carpet • armpit • decrepit •cesspit • bear pit • fleapit •pipit, sippet, skippet, snippet, tippet, Tippett, whippet •limpet • incipit • limepit •moppet, poppet •cockpit • cuckoo-spit • pulpit • puppet •crumpet, strumpet, trumpet •parapet • turnspit

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