from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cultivated deciduous tree (Malus domestica or M. pumila) in the rose family, native to Eurasia and having alternate simple leaves and white or pink flowers.
  • noun The firm, edible, usually rounded fruit of this tree.
  • noun Any of several other plants, especially those with fruits suggestive of the apple, such as the crabapple or custard apple.
  • noun The fruit of any of these plants.
  • idiom (apple of (one's) eye) One that is treasured.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To give the form of an apple to.
  • To grow into the form of an apple.
  • To gather apples.
  • noun The fruit of a rosaceous tree, Pyrus Malus, a native probably of central Asia.
  • noun The tree itself, Pyrus Malus.
  • noun A name popularly given to various fruits or trees having little or nothing in common with the apple.
  • noun Figuratively, some fruitless thing; something which disappoints one's hopes or frustrates one's desires.
  • noun Hence— Something very important, precious, or dear.
  • noun and The apple thrives under a very wide range of conditions, and in practically all temperate regions. In North America the chief regions in which it is produced commercially are the Eastern Canadian region, comprising parts of Ontario, Quebec, and the maritime provinces; the New England and New York region; the Piedmont region of Virginia; the Michigan-Ohio region; the prairie-plains region, from Indiana and Illinois to Missouri and Kansas, in which the Ben Davis variety is the leading factor; the Ozark region, comprising part of Missouri and Arkansas, often known as “the land of the big red apple”; and the rapidly developing regions of the Rocky Mountain States and the Coast States. In all these sections there are certain dominant varieties, which are usually less successful in other localities. As a country grows older, it usually, happens that the list of desirable apples increases in length, because of the choosing of varieties to suit special localities and special needs. It is impossible to give lists of varieties for planting in all parts of the country, either for market or home use. The number of varieties of apples runs into the thousands. A generation and more ago, the great emphasis in apple-growing was placed on varieties, and the old fruit-books testify to the great development of systematic pomology. The choice of varieties is not less important now; but other subjects have greatly increased in importance with the rise of commercial fruit-growing, such as the necessity and means of tilling the soil, fertilization and cover-cropping, the combating of insects and diseases (especially by means of spraying), and revised methods of handling, storing, and marketing. The result is the transfer of the emphasis to scientific and commercial questions. The apple has been generally referred to the rosaceous genus Pyrus, although some recent authors reinstate the old genus Malus. Under the former genus it is known as Pyrus Malus; under the latter as Malus Malus. The nearest generic allies are the pears, comprising the typical genus Pyrus. The pears are distinguished, among other things, by having the styles free to the base; the apples by having the styles more or less united below. The species Malus Malus has run into almost numberless forms under the influence of long domestication. These forms are distinguished not only by differences in fruit, but by habit of tree and marked botanical characteristics. Thus the bloomless apple (see seedless apple) has more or less diclinous flowers, and it was early described as a distinct species under the name of Pyrus dioica. There are many forms of dwarf apple-trees, the best-known of which is the paradise or garden-apple. On this and similar stocks any variety of apple may be grafted or budded if very small or dwarf trees are desired. There are apple-trees with variegated foliage, others with double flowers, and others with a weeping or drooping habit. In China and Japan there is a double-flowered and showy-flowered apple of a very closely allied but apparently distinct species, Malus spectabilis. See also crab-apple.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To grow like an apple; to bear apples.
  • noun The fleshy pome or fruit of a rosaceous tree (Pyrus malus) cultivated in numberless varieties in the temperate zones.
  • noun (bot.) Any tree genus Pyrus which has the stalk sunken into the base of the fruit; an apple tree.
  • noun Any fruit or other vegetable production resembling, or supposed to resemble, the apple.
  • noun Anything round like an apple.
  • noun an aphid which injures apple trees. See Blight, n.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a coleopterous insect (Saperda candida or Saperda bivittata), the larva of which bores into the trunk of the apple tree and pear tree.
  • noun brandy made from apples.
  • noun a sauce made of apples stewed down in cider.
  • noun an instrument for removing the cores from apples.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any dipterous insect, the larva of which burrows in apples. Apple flies belong to the genera Drosophila and Trypeta.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small dipterous insect (Sciara mali), the larva of which bores in apples.
  • noun the pupil.
  • noun a subject of contention and envy, so called from the mythological golden apple, inscribed “For the fairest,” which was thrown into an assembly of the gods by Eris, the goddess of discord. It was contended for by Juno, Minerva, and Venus, and was adjudged to the latter.
  • noun the tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum).
  • noun a large coarse herb (Nicandra physaloides) bearing pale blue flowers, and a bladderlike fruit inclosing a dry berry.
  • noun a fruit described by ancient writers as externally of fair appearance but dissolving into smoke and ashes when plucked; Dead Sea apples. The name is often given to the fruit of Solanum Sodomæum, a prickly shrub with fruit not unlike a small yellow tomato.
  • noun [U. S.] stewed apples.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a fresh-water, operculated, spiral shell of the genus Ampullaria.
  • noun a tart containing apples.
  • noun a tree which naturally bears apples. See Apple, 2.
  • noun cider.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the larva of a small moth (Carpocapsa pomonella) which burrows in the interior of apples. See Codling moth.
  • noun A kind of gallnut coming from Arabia. See Gallnut.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A common, round fruit produced by the tree Malus domestica, cultivated in temperate climates.
  • noun A tree growing such fruit, of the genus Malus; the apple tree.
  • noun The wood of the apple tree.
  • noun in the plural, Cockney rhyming slang Short for apples and pears, slang for stairs.
  • noun baseball, slang, obsolete The ball in baseball.
  • noun informal When smiling, the round, fleshy part of the cheeks between the eyes and the corners of the mouth.

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

  • noun native Eurasian tree widely cultivated in many varieties for its firm rounded edible fruits
  • noun fruit with red or yellow or green skin and sweet to tart crisp whitish flesh


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

[Middle English appel, from Old English æppel.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English appel, from Old English æppel ("apple, any kind of fruit, fruit in general, apple of the eye, ball, anything round, bolus, pill"), from Proto-Germanic *aplaz (“apple”) (compare Scots aipple, Dutch appel, German Apfel, Swedish äpple), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ébl̥, *h₂ebōl (compare Irish úll, Lithuanian óbuolỹs, Russian яблоко (jábloko), possibly Ancient Greek ἄμπελος (ampelos, "vine")).


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  • windows.

    February 12, 2007

  • Can somebody explain apple pie with cheddar cheese?

    September 17, 2007

  • Tasty!

    September 17, 2007

  • Now there's a combination I cannot imagine.

    September 17, 2007

  • or mock apple pie with Ritz crackers?

    September 18, 2007

  • Really? But cheese is so good with apples!

    September 18, 2007

  • Sounds like a Wisconsin thing. Ya know, where you sit around on your dupa eating enormous apple pies with lots of cheese. And beer.

    Is there a good word for a serendipitous typo? On first attempt at above sentence, I came up with enormouse. Scary and cute!

    September 18, 2007

  • It does sound like a Wisconsin thing. Or maybe PA, where I live. Cheese is King in Philadelphia. :-)

    I say you start your own list of serendipitous typos, npydyuan. Imagine the possibilities!

    September 18, 2007

  • Excellent suggestion, rt. Will do.

    September 18, 2007

  • Apple : Macintosh :: Blackberry : ?

    Click on the "?" for the answer. There are 4 separate qualities the answer shares with the others.

    November 29, 2007

  • I don't get it...

    December 1, 2007

  • Shall I compare you

    To a lone red apple

    High atop the tallest tree

    Some say all who came

    Passed it by

    I say none

    Can reach that high.

    – Sappho

    December 8, 2007

  • Another version of the same fragment:

    Like the sweet-apple reddening high on the branch,

    High on the highest, the apple-pickers forgot,

    Or not forgotten, but one they couldn’t reach…

    – Sappho, tr. A.S. Kline

    December 8, 2007

  • "Iduna keeps in a box the apples which the gods, when they feel old age approaching, have only to taste of to become young again. It is in this manner that they will be kept in renovated youth until Ragnarok." - Edda.

    December 13, 2007

  • "saepibus in nostris parvam te roscida mala

    - dux ego vester eram - vidi cum matre legentem.

    alter ab undecimo tum me iam acceperat annus,

    iam fragilis poteram a terra contingere ramos.

    ut vidi, ut perii, ut me malus abstulit error!

    In our orchard-close I saw thee, a little girl with her mother--

    I guided you both--gathering apples wet with dew:

    the next year after eleven had just received me:

    I could just reach the brittle branches from the ground.

    As I saw, how I perished, how the fatal craze swept me away!"

    - 'Eclogue VIII', Virgil.

    December 17, 2007

  • I'm eating one right now. Yum yum.

    June 3, 2008

  • Strangely enough, kewpid, while I read your comment I was biting into an apple. (Having lunch at my desk as usual.)

    June 3, 2008

  • From Family Feud a couple of years ago:

    Bert Newton: Name a green vegetable.

    Contestant: Umm... apple?

    Me: *facepalm*

    June 3, 2008

  • Most annoyingly pronounced in combination with "pie".

    August 16, 2008

  • Word nobody's listing: scroggling. Noun. A small, runty apple that's left on the branch after the harvest.

    January 23, 2009

  • Have you thought about listing it, and placing the definition there, TBTabby?

    January 23, 2009

  • in times of yore, apples came in a vast variety of colors and flavors and shapes, but now due to orchardry (i possibly made that word up) and grafting, we get our horrible clone armies of apples.

    not that they don't taste good, but come now, variety! oh, how i miss thee!

    April 21, 2009

  • Apple Computers got its name from founder Steve Jobs' favorite fruit.

    July 5, 2009

  • Apple is now for me diffrent word than apple ;)

    April 20, 2012

  • Is it Mon zano manzano?

    April 20, 2012

  • notes:

    In Middle English and as late as 17c., it was a generic term for all fruit other than berries but including nuts (such as Old English fingeræppla "dates," literally "finger-apples;" Middle English appel of paradis "banana," c. 1400). Hence its grafting onto the unnamed "fruit of the forbidden tree" in Genesis. Cucumbers, in one Old English work, are eorþæppla, literally "earth-apples" (compare French pomme de terre "potato," literally "earth-apple;" see also melon).

    September 23, 2021