[ kos-terd, kaw-sterd ]
/ ˈkɒs tərd, ˈkɔ stərd /


a large English variety of apple.
Archaic. the head.

Nearby words

  1. costal cartilage,
  2. costalgia,
  3. costally,
  4. costanoan,
  5. costar,
  6. costate,
  7. costectomy,
  8. costello,
  9. costello, lou,
  10. costen's syndrome

Origin of costard

1250–1300; Middle English, perhaps < Anglo-French, equivalent to coste rib (see coast) + -ard -ard, alluding to the ridges or ribs of the variety Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for costard


/ (ˈkʌstəd) /


an English variety of apple tree
the large ribbed apple of this tree
archaic, jocular a slang word for head

Word Origin for costard

C14: from Anglo-Norman, from Old French coste rib

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

Word Origin and History for costard



late 13c., coster, perhaps from Anglo-French or Old French coste "rib" (from Latin costa "a rib;" see coast (n.)). A kind of large apple with prominent "ribs," i.e. one having a shape more like a green pepper than a plain, round apple. Also applied derisively to "the head." Common 14c.-17c. but limited to fruit-growers afterward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper