Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[froot] /frut/
noun, plural fruits (especially collectively) fruit.
any product of plant growth useful to humans or animals.
the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple.
the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana.
the spores and accessory organs of ferns, mosses, fungi, algae, or lichen.
anything produced or accruing; product, result, or effect; return or profit:
the fruits of one's labors.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.
verb (used with or without object)
to bear or cause to bear fruit:
a tree that fruits in late summer; careful pruning that sometimes fruits a tree.
Origin of fruit
1125-75; Middle English < Old French < Latin frūctus enjoyment, profit, fruit, equivalent to frūg-, variant stem of fruī to enjoy the produce of + -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
fruitlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fruit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for fruit


(botany) the ripened ovary of a flowering plant, containing one or more seeds. It may be dry, as in the poppy, or fleshy, as in the peach
any fleshy part of a plant, other than the above structure, that supports the seeds and is edible, such as the strawberry
the specialized spore-producing structure of plants that do not bear seeds
any plant product useful to man, including grain, vegetables, etc
(often pl) the result or consequence of an action or effort
(Brit, old-fashioned, slang) chap; fellow: used as a term of address
(slang, mainly Brit) a person considered to be eccentric or insane
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) a male homosexual
(archaic) offspring of man or animals; progeny
to bear or cause to bear fruit
Derived Forms
fruitlike, adjective
Word Origin
C12: from Old French, from Latin frūctus enjoyment, profit, fruit, from frūī to enjoy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fruit

late 12c., from Old French fruit "fruit, fruit eaten as dessert; harvest; virtuous action" (12c.), from Latin fructus "an enjoyment, delight, satisfaction; proceeds, produce, fruit, crops," from frug-, stem of frui "to use, enjoy," from PIE *bhrug- "agricultural produce," also "to enjoy" (see brook (v.)).

Classical sense preserved in fruits of one's labor. Originally in English meaning vegetables as well. Modern narrower sense is from early 13c. Meaning "odd person, eccentric" is from 1910; that of "male homosexual" is from 1935. The term also is noted in 1931 as tramp slang for "a girl or woman willing to oblige," probably from the fact of being "easy picking." Fruit salad recorded from 1861.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
fruit in Science
The ripened ovary of a flowering plant that contains the seeds, sometimes fused with other parts of the plant. Fruits can be dry or fleshy. Berries, nuts, grains, pods, and drupes are fruits. ◇ Fruits that consist of ripened ovaries alone, such as the tomato and pea pod, are called true fruits. ◇ Fruits that consist of ripened ovaries and other parts such as the receptacle or bracts, as in the apple, are called accessory fruits or false fruits. See also aggregate fruit, multiple fruit, simple fruit., See Note at berry.

Our Living Language  : To most of us, a fruit is a plant part that is eaten as a dessert or snack because it is sweet, but to a botanist a fruit is a mature ovary of a plant, and as such it may or may not taste sweet. All species of flowering plants produce fruits that contain seeds. A peach, for example, contains a pit that can grow into a new peach tree, while the seeds known as peas can grow into another pea vine. To a botanist, apples, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, pea pods, cucumbers, and winged maple seeds are all fruits. A vegetable is simply part of a plant that is grown primarily for food. Thus, the leaf of spinach, the root of a carrot, the flower of broccoli, and the stalk of celery are all vegetables. In everyday, nonscientific speech we make the distinction between sweet plant parts (fruits) and nonsweet plant parts (vegetables). This is why we speak of peppers and cucumbers and squash—all fruits in the eyes of a botanist—as vegetables.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
fruit in Culture

fruit definition

In botany, the part of a seed-bearing plant that contains the fertilized seeds capable of generating a new plant (see fertilization). Fruit develops from the female part of the plant. Apples, peaches, tomatoes, and many other familiar foods are fruits.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for fruit



  1. An eccentric person; fruitcake, oddball: I'll bet we get a lot of fruits (1910+)
  2. A male homosexual; fairy (1935+)

Related Terms

hen fruit

[first sense short for fruitcake, as in ''nutty as a fruitcake'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with fruit
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for fruit

Difficulty index for fruit

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fruit

Scrabble Words With Friends