[ froot ]
See synonyms for: fruitfruitedfruitingfruits on

noun,plural fruits, (especially collectively) fruit.
  1. any product of plant growth useful to humans or animals.

  2. the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple.

  1. the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana.

  2. the spores and accessory organs of ferns, mosses, fungi, algae, or lichen.

  3. anything produced or accruing; product, result, or effect; return or profit: the fruits of one's labors.

  4. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a gay man.

verb (used with or without object)
  1. to bear or cause to bear fruit: a tree that fruits in late summer; careful pruning that sometimes fruits a tree.

Origin of fruit

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English, from Old French, from Latin frūctus “enjoyment, profit, fruit,” equivalent to frūg-, variant stem of fruī “to enjoy the produce of” + -tus suffix of verbal action

Other words from fruit

  • fruit·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fruit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fruit


/ (fruːt) /

  1. 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

  2. any fleshy part of a plant, other than the above structure, that supports the seeds and is edible, such as the strawberry

  1. the specialized spore-producing structure of plants that do not bear seeds

  2. any plant product useful to man, including grain, vegetables, etc

  3. (often plural) the result or consequence of an action or effort

  4. British old-fashioned, slang chap; fellow: used as a term of address

  5. slang, mainly British a person considered to be eccentric or insane

  6. slang, mainly US and Canadian a male homosexual

  7. archaic offspring of man or animals; progeny

  1. to bear or cause to bear fruit

Origin of fruit

C12: from Old French, from Latin frūctus enjoyment, profit, fruit, from frūī to enjoy

Derived forms of fruit

  • fruitlike, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for fruit


[ frōōt ]

  1. 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.

usage For fruit

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for fruit


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with fruit


see bear fruit; forbidden fruit.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.