from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of pear that has a rough astringent taste. Hence—
  • n. Anything that stops the mouth; an unanswerable argument; an aspersion or a sarcasm by which a person is put to silence.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It originally appeared by instalments in the _Contemporary Review_, where it must have been something of a choke-pear even for the readers of that then young and thoughtful periodical.

    Matthew Arnold

  • After a little space the hatch was lifted from where I lay, the choke-pear taken from my mouth; but not the bandage from mine eyes, so

    Condensed Novels: New Burlesques

  • Meantime, as a kind of choke-pear, we leave with the Homeric adorer this one brace of portraits, or hints for such a brace, which we commend to his comparison, as Hamlet did the portraits of the two brothers to his besotted mother.

    The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg

  • Why, indeed, said my brother, with an air of college-sufficiency, with which he abounds, (for he thinks nobody writes like himself,) I believe I have given her a choke-pear.

    Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 2

  • Yet, lest some choke-pear < 32 > of state policy should stop my throat, and spoil my drinking pipe, see, like his cloak, I hung at the King's elbow, till I had got his hand to sign my life.

    The Noble Spanish Soldier

  • _choke-pear_, shewed the dearth of intellectual intercourse in which he lived, and the craving in his mind after those studies which had once been his pride, and to which he still turned for consolation in his remote solitude.

    The Spirit of the Age Contemporary Portraits

  • We might give you one, you know: a choke-pear! ... "

    The Crystal Stopper


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  • How sweet to conclude a dispute
    By serving up wit's bitter fruit -
    Your foe in despair
    And sucking choke-pear,
    Left helplessly fuming but mute.

    Wordnik defines choke-pear as the bitter fruit/effective put down item. Spelled without the hyphen choke pear’s primary definition in Wordnik is the medieval instrument of torture. Google produces the same search result for both spellings and is overwhelmingly a record of the torture instrument. Such is the way of The Web.

    April 16, 2014

  • Also choke pear

    November 27, 2007

  • Why, indeed, said my brother with an air of college-sufficiency, with which he abounds (for he thinks nobody writes like himself), I believe I have given her a choke-pear. What say you, Mr Solmes?

    November 27, 2007