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Papaw (n.) A tree (Carica Papaya) of tropical America, belonging to the order Passifloreae. It has a soft, spongy stem, eighteen or twenty feet high, crowned with a tuft of large, long-stalked, palmately lobed leaves. The milky juice of the plant is said to have the property of making meat tender. Also, its dull orange-colored, melon-shaped fruit, which is eaten both raw and cooked or pickled.