The Alternative English Dictionary: apple

Android app on Google Play

Entry definition

apple {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English appel, from Old English æppel, from Proto-Germanic *aplaz (compare Scots aipple, Western Frisian apel, Dutch appel, German Apfel, Swedish äpple), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ébl̥ 〈*h₂ébl̥〉, *h₂ebōl 〈*h₂ebōl〉 (compare Irish úll, Lithuanian óbuolỹs 〈óbuolỹs〉, Russian я́блоко 〈ấbloko〉, possibly Ancient Greek ἄμπελος 〈ámpelos〉).[ etymonline][] pronunciation
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈæpl̩/, /ˈæpəl/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A common, round fruit produced by the tree Malus domestica, cultivated in temperate climates. {{defdate}}
    • c. 1378, William Langland, Piers Plowman: I prayed pieres to pulle adown an apple.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma: Not that I had any doubt before – I have so often heard Mr. Woodhouse recommend a baked apple.
    • 2013, John Vallins, The Guardian, 28 Oct 2013: Close by and under cover, I watched the juicing process. Apples were washed, then tipped, stalks and all, into the crusher and reduced to pulp.
  2. Any of various tree-borne fruit or vegetable especially considered as resembling an apple; also (with qualifying words) used to form the names of other specific fruits such as custard apple, thorn apple etc. {{defdate}}
    • 1658, trans. Giambattista della Porta, Natural Magick, I.16: In Persia there grows a deadly tree, whose Apples are Poison, and present death.
    • 1784, James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, II: Otaheite […] is remarkable for producing great quantities of that delicious fruit we called apples, which are found in none of the others, except Eimeo.
    • 1825, Theodric Romeyn Beck, Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, 2nd edition, p. 565: Hippomane mancinella. (Manchineel-tree.) Dr. Peysonnel relates that a soldier, who was a slave with the Turks, eat some of the apples of this tree, and was soon seized with a swelling and pain of the abdomen.
  3. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, eaten by Adam and Eve according to post-Biblical Christian tradition; the forbidden fruit. {{defdate}}
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book X: Him by fraud I have seduced / From his Creator; and, the more to encrease / Your wonder, with an apple […].
    • 1985, Barry Reckord, The White Witch: Woman ate the apple, and discovered sex, and lost all shame, and lift up her fig—leaf, and she must suffer the pains of hell. Monthly.
  4. A tree of the genus Malus, especially one cultivated for its edible fruit; the apple tree. {{defdate}}
    • 1913, John Weathers, Commercial Gardening, p. 38: If the grafted portion of an Apple or other tree were examined after one hundred years, the old cut surfaces would still be present, for mature or ripened wood, being dead, never unites.
    • 2000 PA Thomas, Trees: Their Natural History, p. 227: This allows a weak plant to benefit from the strong roots of another, or a vigorous tree (such as an apple) to be kept small by growing on 'dwarfing rootstock'.
    • 2009, Sid Gardner, The Faults of the Owens Valley, 9781440177927, page 34,, Used to be apple orchards, used to be the river and irrigation ditches that watered the apples, used to be mining towns.
    • 2012, Terri Reid, The Everything Guide to Living Off the Grid, p. 77: Other fruit trees, like apples, need well-drained soil.
  5. The wood of the apple tree. {{defdate}}
  6. (in the plural, Cockney rhyming slang) Short for apples and pears, slang for stairs. {{defdate}}
  7. (baseball, slang, obsolete) The ball in baseball. {{defdate}}
  8. (informal) When smiling, the round, fleshy part of the cheeks between the eyes and the corners of the mouth.
  9. (pejorative, ethnic slur) A Native American or red-skinned person who acts and/or thinks like a white (Caucasian) person.
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
  • appel

All Languages

Languages and entry counts