- a European tree, Sorbus domestica.
- Also called sorb apple. the fruit of this tree.
Origin of sorb1
- another name for service tree (def. 1)
- any of various related trees, esp the mountain ash
- Also called: sorb apple the fruit of any of these trees
- a member of a Slavonic people living chiefly in the rural areas of E Germany between the upper reaches of the Oder and Elbe rivers (Lusatia)Also called: Wend, Lusatian
Word Origin and History for sorbic
1815, in sorbic acid, so called because it was first isolated from the berries of the mountain ash (see sorb).
1843, from German Sorbe, from Slavic Serb, the national designation. Slavic people surviving in Lusatia, eastern Saxony, also known as Wends. Related: Sorbian (1836); earlier Sorabian (1788), from Medieval Latin Sorabi.
"fruit of the service tree," 1520s, from French sorbe, from Latin sorbum "service-berry" (small, edible fruit of the European mountain ash), from sorbus, of uncertain origin.