• noun a small tree (Cydonia vulgaris) native of western Asia, the hard pear-shaped sour fruit of which are rich in pectin and used to make jellies and other preserves


  • The apple or pear shaped fruit of a temperate climate bush, Cydonia oblonga, with a green skin which turns to gold when ripe and is covered by a greyish-white down. The ripe flesh is sweet, juicy and yellow with a pronounced scent and is always cooked. Used as apples or made into jam without the need of added pectin. They originated in western Asia but are now grown worldwide especially in Uruguay.


  • noun a male homosexual or effeminate male. The word is probably a blend of queen and ‘mince’. It may also be derived from the Asian fruit of the same name.


  • noun a hard yellow or orange fruit, shaped like an apple or pear and used for making jelly


  • a taste or aroma associated with white wines made from the Chenin Blanc grape variety in the Loire region of France

Origin & History of “quince”

Etymologically, the quince is the ‘fruit from Khaniá’, a port on the northwest coast of Crete from which quinces were exported. In ancient times Khaniá was known as Cydonia (in Greek Kudṓnia), so the Greeks called the fruit mḗlon Kudṓnion ‘Cydonian apple’. Latin took the term over as cydōneum, later cotōneum, which passed into English via Old French cooin. The original English form of the word was quoyn, later quyn, but already by the early 14th century its plural quyns was coming to be regarded as a singular – whence modern English quince.