Definitions

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

  • noun An English variety of large cooking apple.
  • noun Archaic The human head.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An apple.
  • noun The head.
  • noun Also costerd.

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

  • noun An apple, large and round like the head.
  • noun The head; -- used contemptuously.

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

  • noun UK a large cooking apple

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old North French, possibly from coste, rib (from its ribbed appearance), from Latin costa; see kost- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • The term, which derived from the words costard (a type of apple) and monger (a seller) is particularly associated with the original "barrow boys" of London who would sell their produce from these wheeled market stalls.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • The term, which derived from the words costard (a type of apple) and monger (a seller) is particularly associated with the original "barrow boys" of London who would sell their produce from these wheeled market stalls.

    Rare Antique Costermonger Barrows For Sale by Trainspotters.uk.com

  • At length, I suppose the lad either guessed the secret of his birth or something of it was communicated to him; and the disgust which the paughty Hieland varlet had always shown for my honest trade became more manifest; so that I dared not so much as lay my staff over his costard, for fear of receiving a stab with a dirk, as an answer in Gaelic to a Saxon remark.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • Freeshots Feilbogen in his rockery garden with the costard?

    Finnegans Wake

  • But tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?

    Love’s Labour ’s Lost

  • Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt in the next room.

    The Life and Death of Richard the Third

  • As varieties of the Apple, mention is made in documents of the twelfth century, of the pearmain, and the costard, from the latter of which has come the word costardmonger, as at first a dealer in this fruit, and now applied to our costermonger.

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • But tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?

    Act III. Scene I. Love’s Labour’s Lost

  • A wonder, master! here’s a costard broken in a shin.

    Act III. Scene I. Love’s Labour’s Lost

  • Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt in the next room.

    Act I. Scene IV. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

Comments

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  • What is actually monged by a costermonger, according to the OED: a kind of apple.

    September 25, 2008

  • Costard, a clown, a character in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.

    "I am no clownish Costard, prating for your delectation."

    Tooth and Nail: A Novel Approach to the SAT by Charles Harrington Elster and Joseph Elliot (1994)

    April 5, 2011