Definition of mirliton in US English:



  • 1A musical instrument with a nasal tone produced by a vibrating membrane, typically a toy instrument resembling a kazoo.

  • 2US

    another term for chayote (sense 1)
    • ‘Daily specials are written on a board and include fresh fish and pintade (guinea hen), along with hearty vegetable and meat stews featuring eggplant, spinach or the more exotic mirliton.’
    • ‘She didn't have any fresh xuxu either, a squash-like veggie also known as chayotte or mirliton.’
    • ‘Not so the cheese-stuffed huisquil - more commonly called chayote squash, mirliton or vegetable pear in Texas - that came off watery and wan.’
    • ‘The mirliton turned out to be the Louisiana name for chayote, a light-green ridged fruit you may have seen in ethnic grocery stores.’
    • ‘It is also known as mirliton and a vegetable pear.’


Early 19th century: from French, ‘reed pipe’, of imitative origin.