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

  • noun A shrub or small tree (Cydonia oblonga) in the rose family, native to western Asia, having white or pink flowers and hard yellow pear-shaped fruit.
  • noun The aromatic, many-seeded fruit of this plant, usually used for jelly or in cooked dishes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as quinze.
  • noun Scrofula.
  • noun The fruit of the tree Pyrus Cydonia. (See def. 2.)
  • noun The fruit-tree Pyrus Cydonia, sometimes classed as Cydonia vulgaris, the latter genus being based (insufficiently) on the many-seeded cells of the fruit.

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

  • noun The fruit of a shrub (Cydonia vulgaris) belonging to the same tribe as the apple. It somewhat resembles an apple, but differs in having many seeds in each carpel. It has hard flesh of high flavor, but very acid, and is largely used for marmalade, jelly, and preserves.
  • noun (Bot.) a quince tree or shrub.
  • noun (Bot.) an Eastern Asiatic shrub (Cydonia Japonica, formerly Pyrus Japonica) and its very fragrant but inedible fruit. The shrub has very showy flowers, usually red, but sometimes pink or white, and is much grown for ornament.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small gray and yellow curculio (Conotrachelus cratægi) whose larva lives in quinces.
  • noun (Bot.) the small tree (Cydonia vulgaris) which produces the quince.

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

  • noun The pear-shaped fruit of a small tree of the rose family, Cydonia oblonga.
  • noun The deciduous tree bearing such fruit, native to Asia.

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

  • noun aromatic acid-tasting pear-shaped fruit used in preserves
  • noun small Asian tree with pinkish flowers and pear-shaped fruit; widely cultivated


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

[Middle English quynce, pl. of quyn, quince, from Old French cooin, from Latin cotōneum (mālum), quince (fruit), probably variant of cydōnium, from Greek dialectal kudōnion (mālon), alteration (influenced by Kudōniā, Cydonia, an ancient city of northwest Crete) of kodumālon.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French cooing (modern coing), from Late Latin cotōneum < mālum cotōneum, a variant of mālum Cydonium ("Cydonian apple"), translating Ancient Greek μήλον κυδώνιον (melon kudonion).



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  • A fruit resembling a hard-fleshed, yellow apple, that is used especially in preserves.

    February 2, 2007

  • "they dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon"

    February 9, 2007

  • A ripe quince smells like the Queen of Sheba - nay, like her silken undergarments.

    November 17, 2008