Definitions

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

  • noun One who sells fruit, vegetables, fish, or other goods from a cart, barrow, or stand in the streets.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A hawker of fruits and vegetables. Also coster, and formerly costardmonger.
  • Mercenary; sordid.

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

  • noun An apple seller; a hawker of, or dealer in, any kind of fruit or vegetables; a fruiterer.

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

  • noun UK a trader who sells fruit and vegetables from a barrow in the street

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

  • noun a hawker of fruit and vegetables from a barrow

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete costard-monger : costard + monger.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from costard + monger

Examples

Comments

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  • “A costermonger was a street seller of fruit and vegetables. The term, which derived from the words costard (a type of large ribbed apple) and monger, i.e. "seller", came to be particularly associated with the "barrow boys" of London who would sell their produce from a wheelbarrow or wheeled market stall.�?

    Wikipedia

    November 20, 2008

  • I found this word in the Brothers Karamazov

    A fascinating origin from the New Oxford American Dictionary:

    costermonger is an apple-seller, among other things, and the "coster" part comes from "costard," a large ribbed cooking apple. "Costard" also used to be used to refer humorously to a person's head, naturally enough. It is derived from the Latin "costa," for rib or side. The word coast is also derived from this root, coming from the phrase "side of the sea."

    August 18, 2011