This list of melons includes members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae with edible, fleshy fruit (e.g. gourds or cucurbits). The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit. Many different cultivars have been produced, particularly of muskmelons. Although the melon is a botanical fruit (specifically, a berry), some varieties may be considered culinary vegetables rather than fruits. The word melon derives from Latin melopepo, which is the latinization of the Greek μηλοπέπων (mēlopepon), meaning "melon", itself a compound of μῆλον (mēlon), "apple" + πέπων (pepōn), amongst others "a kind of gourd or melon".
In botany, a fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which these plants disseminate seeds. Many of them that bear edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings.
In common language usage, "fruit" normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, bananas, and lemons. On the other hand, the botanical sense of "fruit" includes many structures that are not commonly called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels, wheat grains, and tomatoes.