• synonyms


  1. the edible fruit, typically rounded but elongated and growing smaller toward the stem, of a tree, Pyrus communis, of the rose family.
  2. the tree itself.
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Origin of pear

before 1000; Middle English pe(e)re, Old English peru < Late Latin pira, feminine singular use of plural of L of pirum (neuter) pear
Related formspear·like, adjective
Can be confusedpair pare payer pear
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pear


  1. a widely cultivated rosaceous tree, Pyrus communis, having white flowers and edible fruits
  2. the sweet gritty-textured juicy fruit of this tree, which has a globular base and tapers towards the apex
  3. the wood of this tree, used for making furniture
  4. go pear-shaped informal to go wrongthe plan started to go pear-shaped
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Word Origin for pear

Old English pere, ultimately from Latin pirum
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 pear


Old English pere, peru "pear," common West Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German pere, Old High German pira, bira, Dutch peer), from Vulgar Latin *pera, variant of Latin pira, plural (taken for fem. singular) of pirum "pear," a loan word from an unknown source. It likely shares an origin with Greek apion "pear," apios "pear tree."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper