Definitions

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

  • noun A wild variety of Mediterranean fig (Ficus carica) used in the caprification of certain edible figs.
  • noun The pear-shaped structure on this plant that encloses numerous small flowers and later develops into an inedible multiple fruit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The uncultivated male form of the common fig, Ficus Carica, which is practically diœcious, though staminate and pistillate flowers are found upon the same tree.

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

  • noun A fig tree which produces both male and female flowers and is used to fertilize the female trees of the species.
  • noun The accessory fruit of this tree, which is considered inedible by humans.

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

  • noun wild variety of the common fig used to facilitate pollination of certain figs

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin caprifīcus (influenced by Middle English fig, fig) : caper, capr-, goat + fīcus, fig; see fig.]

Examples

  • For there is a slight distinction of this sort, since even in plants we find in the same kind some trees which bear fruit and others which, while bearing none themselves, yet contribute to the ripening of the fruits of those which do, as in the case of the fig-tree and caprifig.

    On the Generation of Animals

  • Some erroneously assert that all fish are female except in the cartilaginous fishes, for they think that the females of fish differ from what are supposed to be males only in the same way as in those plants where the one bears fruit but the other is fruitless, as olive and oleaster, fig and caprifig.

    On the Generation of Animals

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