Co·​mice kə-ˈmēs How to pronounce Comice (audio)
plural Comices
: a large pear that has a creamy white, juicy flesh and a greenish-yellow skin marked with red
Though not as readily available as the other varieties, the Comice has become my second favorite eating or dessert pear, since it's usually sweet and full of flavor.Nancy Baggett, The Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2003
Buttery Comices, the most delicately perfumed and smoothest textured, can be stuffed and baked and served with various flavors of ice cream or sabayon.Lindsey Remolif Shere, Gourmet, October 1985

Word History


borrowed from French, short for Doyenné du Comice, literally, "Doyenné of the (horticultural) cooperative," referring to the Comice horticole d'Angers, where the variety was developed in the 1840's (French comice, earlier, "Roman assembly," borrowed from Latin comitia); doyenné "variety of pear," literally, "office of a dean, deanery," going back to Old French deané, from deien, doien "dean" + , noun suffix (going back to Latin -ātus)

Note: The French noun doyenné in reference to a pear (presumably short for poire de doyenné, "deanery pear") dates back to at least the 17th century; it can be found among a list of pear varieties in Nicolas de Bonnefons' gardening manual Le jardinier françois, 5th edition (Amsterdam, 1654), p. 108: "Doyenné, Bœuré blanc, ou S. Michel."

First Known Use

1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Comice was in 1905

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Dictionary Entries Near Comice

Cite this Entry

“Comice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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