pumpkin

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pump·kin / ˈpəm(p)kən; ˈpəngkən/ • n. 1. a large rounded orange-yellow fruit with a thick rind, edible flesh, and many seeds. ∎  the flesh of this fruit, esp. used as food. ∎ inf. used as an affectionate term of address, esp. to a child. 2. the plant (genus Cucurbita) of the gourd family that produces this fruit, having tendrils and large lobed leaves and native to warm regions of America. ∎ Brit. another term for squash2

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pumpkin, common name for the genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae (gourd family), a group that includes the pumpkins and squashes—the names may be used interchangeably and without botanical distinction. C. pepo, a species that includes varieties of pumpkin, vegetable marrow (a common European vegetable), and summer squash, has been cultivated so long that its wild form no longer exists and its place of origin is uncertain. If it is native to Asia it was introduced to America in prehistoric times; squashes, corn, and lima beans were the chief crops cultivated by pre-Columbian Native Americans. The pumpkin was among the fruits of the first Thanksgiving celebration of the Pilgrims; it has been a favorite pie filling for autumn festivities ever since, and its shell is carved into the Halloween jack-o'-lantern. The summer squashes include the pattypan, acorn, scallop, and summer crookneck squashes. Other squashes are varieties of C. moschata, including the crookneck squashes and the cheese pumpkin, and C. maxima, the winter squashes (e.g., the Hubbard and turban squashes), called pumpkins in Europe. Pumpkins are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Cucurbitaceae.

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pumpkin in the fairy-story of Cinderella, the golden coach provided by the fairy godmother was a transformed pumpkin, which on the stroke of midnight would turn back into the fruit.

It is traditional at Hallow'een to make a lantern from a hollowed-out pumpkin with holes cut for eyes, nose, and mouth so that it resembles a face.
pumpkin papers a name given to microfilm records of classified documents found in 1948 in a hollowed-out pumpkin on a farm in Maryland which belonged to the journalist Whittaker Chambers; Chambers alleged that they had been given to him by Alger Hiss, and the revelation played an important part in Hiss's trial and eventual conviction.
pumpkin pie traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving day in the US and Canada.

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Pumpkin ★★ 2002 (R)

Ambitious but overreaching satire. California blonde sorority sister Carolyn McDuffy (Ricci) is a reluctant participant in the group's charity activity—helping to coach “special” athletes. Then Carolyn gets to know Pumpkin (Harris), who's confined to a wheelchair and seems to be mentally retarded as well (this isn't very clear). Soon, Pumpkin is smitten and Carolyn falls for his inner beauty—thus alienating her boyfriend, sorority sisters, and Pumpkins's mother. Too bad all the characters are little more than stereotypes. 118m/C VHS, DVD . US Christina Ricci, Brenda Blethyn, Dominique Swain, Hank Harris, Marisa Coughlan, Samuel Ball, Harry J. Lennix, Nina Foch, Caroline Aaron, Lisa Banes, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Amy Adams; D: Adam Larson Broder, Tony R. Abrams; W: Adam Larson Broder; C: Tim Suhrstedt; M: John Ottman.

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pumpkin A gourd, fruit of Cucurbita pepo; a 90‐g portion provides 1.8 g of dietary fibre and is a rich source of vitamin A (as carotene); supplies 15 kcal (65 kJ).

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pumpkin XVII. alt. (by assim. of the ending to -KIN) of pumpion, earlier pompon — F. † pompon, nasalized form of † popon, var. of *pepon — L. pepō, -ōn- — Gr. pépōn large melon, sb. use of pépōn ripe.

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pumpkin Orange, hard-rinded, edible garden fruit of a trailing annual vine found in warm regions of the Old World and the USA; a variety of Cucurbita pepo. In the USA, the pumpkin is also called a squash, especially the winter pumpkin (or squash) Cucurbita maxima and C. moschata. Family Cucurbitaceae.