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90s Slang You Should Know


[med-ler] /ˈmɛd lər/
a small tree, Mespilus germanica, of the rose family, the fruit of which resembles a crab apple and is not edible until the early stages of decay.
any of certain related trees.
the fruit of any of these trees.
Origin of medlar
1325-75; Middle English medler < Anglo-French, equivalent to medle (Old French mesle the fruit < Latin mespilum < Greek méspilon) + -er -er2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for medlar
Historical Examples
  • The fruit may be eaten after it has begun to decay, as in the case of the medlar.

  • The latter is a sort of medlar, which all hands pronounced delicious.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • Along with the Canadian medlar, the bramble, and some kinds of azalea, the leaves change not infrequently to vivid crimson.

  • But indeed, Mr. medlar, you should not sacrifice your constitution to your benevolence.

  • Delia stood under the medlar tree on the lawn, ready to go out, with a bunch of roses in her hand, and her violin-case.

    Thistle and Rose Amy Walton
  • In the ornaments of the doorway we see the ammonite and medlar.

  • He brought home heavy takes of fish; but people said that his medlar branch was always hanging up in the boat.

    Toilers of the Sea Victor Hugo
  • There are bushes again and a magnolia, and a Japanese medlar, and there is moss.

    Cecilia F. Marion Crawford
  • The resulting fruit has a core character unknown in other apples but approached in certain apple-like fruits, as the medlar.

    The Apple-Tree L. H. Bailey
  • "The message within is no medlar to soften by keeping," said Emlyn.

    The Lady Of Blossholme H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for medlar


a small Eurasian rosaceous tree, Mespilus germanica
the fruit of this tree, which resembles the crab apple and is not edible until it has begun to decay
any of several other rosaceous trees or their fruits
Word Origin
C14: from Old French medlier, from Latin mespilum medlar fruit, from Greek mespilon
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
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Word Origin and History for medlar

"small fruit-bearing tree," mid-14c. (in reference to the fruit itself), from Old French medler, variant of mesple, from Latin mespila "fruit of the medlar," from Greek mespilion, a foreign word of unknown origin. The Old English name was openærs, literally "open-arse."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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