squash

squash

[skwosh, skwawsh]
squash: see gourd; pumpkin.

Singles racket game resembling squash rackets, played with an inflated ball the size of a tennis ball. Played in virtually the same court as squash rackets, squash tennis makes fewer demands on the legs in pursuing the ball but puts a greater premium on agility and quickness of foot and reflexes in turning and spinning.

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Singles or doubles game played in a four-walled court with a long-handled racket and a rubber ball. A descendant of rackets, it probably originated in the mid-19th century at England's Harrow School. The standard international game uses a relatively soft, slow ball; hardball squash, popular in the U.S., is played on a narrower court with a harder, faster ball. The object of squash is to bounce, or rebound, the ball off the front wall in such a way as to defeat an opponent's attempt to reach and return it.

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or leaf-footed bug

Any of more than 2,000 widely distributed insect species (family Coreidae), including many important plant pests. Most species are dull-coloured and more than 0.4 in. (10 mm) long. Many have enlarged, flattened extensions on the legs. The North American squash bug (Anasa tristis) is an important pest of squash, melon, and pumpkin (plants in the gourd family). It is basically yellow but is covered with black pits that make it look black. The larvae feed underground, and the piercing and sucking mouthparts of the adults enable them to attack the parts of plants that insecticides rarely penetrate.

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Any of various fruits of the genus Cucurbita in the gourd family, widely cultivated as vegetables and for livestock feed. The principal species are C. maxima and certain varieties of C. pepo. Summer squash is a quick-growing, small-fruited, nontrailing or bush type of C. pepo. Diverse in form, colour, and surface texture, the fruits do not store well and must be used soon after harvest (see zucchini). Winter varieties of squash, C. maxima, are long-vining, generally large-fruited, long-season types. Harvested fruits, in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colours, can be stored many months if kept dry and well above freezing. The rinds are harder than those of summer squash and usually inedible. Examples include acorn squash and pumpkin. Native to the Americas, squash was widely cultivated by American Indians before Europeans arrived.

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