General English


  • The fruit of the apple tree, Malus sylvestris var. domestica, which requires cool winters to fruit. There are thousands of varieties but only about fifty are commercially available. dessert varieties are sweetish, sometimes combined with acid, used for eating raw, and, since they keep their shape on cooking, also used for tarts and in other cases where the shape of the cut fruit is important. Cooking varieties are generally acid and become soft and mushy when boiled, stewed or baked.

Media Studies

  • (written as Apple)
    a trade name for computer technology company which has developed, among other products, the Apple Macintosh personal computer and the iPod


  • noun the common hard, edible fruit of the apple tree Malus domestica


  • a smell usually associated with young Chardonnay wine, German Riesling and some Chenin Blanc wines. If the smell is of bitter apples, it can also be a signal that the wine has been oxidised and spoilt or has an excess malic acid content.

Origin & History of “apple”

Words related to apple are found all over Europe; not just in Germanic languages (German apfel, Dutch appel, Swedish äpple), but also in Balto-Slavonic (Lithuanian óbuolas, polish jabtko), and Celtic (Irish ubhall, Welsh afal) languages. The Old English version was æppel, which developed to modern English apple. Apparently from earliest times the word was applied not just to the fruit we now know as the apple, but to any fruit in general. For example, John de Trevisa, in his translation of De proprietatibus rerum 1398 wrote ‘All manner apples that is, “fruit” that are enclosed in a hard skin, rind, or shell, are called Nuces nuts’. The term earth-apple has been applied to several vegetables, including the cucumber and the potato (compare French pomme de terre), and pineapple (which originally meant ‘pine cone’, with particular reference to the edible pine nuts) was applied to the tropical fruit in the 17th century, because of its supposed resemblance to a pine cone.