Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A western Asian shrub or tree (Cydonia oblonga) having white flowers and hard applelike fruit.
  • n. The aromatic, many-seeded fruit of this plant, edible only when cooked.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The pear-shaped fruit of a small tree of the rose family, Cydonia oblonga.
  • n. The deciduous tree bearing such fruit, native to Asia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The fruit of a shrub (Cydonia vulgaris) belonging to the same tribe as the apple. It somewhat resembles an apple, but differs in having many seeds in each carpel. It has hard flesh of high flavor, but very acid, and is largely used for marmalade, jelly, and preserves.
  • n. a quince tree or shrub.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fruit of the tree Pyrus Cydonia. (See def. 2.)
  • n. The fruit-tree Pyrus Cydonia, sometimes classed as Cydonia vulgaris, the latter genus being based (insufficiently) on the many-seeded cells of the fruit.
  • n. Scrofula.
  • n. Same as quinze.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. aromatic acid-tasting pear-shaped fruit used in preserves
  • n. small Asian tree with pinkish flowers and pear-shaped fruit; widely cultivated

Etymologies

Middle English quynce, pl. of quyn, quince, from Old French cooin, from Latin cotōneum (mālum), quince (fruit), probably variant of cydōnium, from Greek dialectal kudōnion (mālon), alteration (influenced by Kudōniā, Cydonia, an ancient city of northwest Crete) of kodumālon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French cooing (modern coing), from Late Latin cotōneum < mālum cotōneum, a variant of mālum Cydonium ("Cydonian apple"), translating Ancient Greek μήλον κυδώνιον (melon kudonion). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • A ripe quince smells like the Queen of Sheba - nay, like her silken undergarments.

    November 17, 2008

  • "they dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon"

    February 9, 2007

  • A fruit resembling a hard-fleshed, yellow apple, that is used especially in preserves.

    February 2, 2007