crab apple


Definition of crab apple

: any of various wild or cultivated trees (genus Malus) that are cultivars or relatives of the cultivated apple and that produce small sour fruit also : the fruit

Examples of crab apple in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is the recipe Mathews followed for the crab apple jelly in her recipe. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "14 Holiday Cookie Contest winning recipes, ahead of this year's Dec. 4 reveal," 29 Nov. 2019 Apple scab Usually known for picturesque, pink flowers, crab apple trees may already have been infected with apple scab, a fungal disease that infects the leaves. Vikki Ortiz,, "Thanks to rainy spring, 4 tree diseases expected across Chicagoland this summer," 23 May 2018 Nearby was a test garden filled with crab apple trees and native plants like the Pulsatilla and the Baptisia. Sydney Ember, New York Times, "A Heartland Company Leads the Media Race," 11 Mar. 2018 Such varieties as Kingston Black, Yarlington Mill, Dabinett, Somerset Redstreak and even foraged wild crab apples were discussed with the same reverence as pinot noir or nebbiolo. Jason Wilson,, "Cidermakers develop a strategy: Define and conquer," 7 Feb. 2018 According to a press release, researchers from the United States and China sequenced the genomes of 117 apples, including domestic varieties as well as crab apples and wild apples from 24 different species. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "How the Silk Road Created the Modern Apple," 21 Aug. 2017 This autumn, cardinals and blue jays will snatch orange crab apples from twisted branches. Bart Ziegler, WSJ, "Save the Songbirds: Plant These Shrubs and Bushes," 13 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crab apple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of crab apple

1680, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crab apple

crab entry 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crab apple

Time Traveler for crab apple

Time Traveler

The first known use of crab apple was in 1680

See more words from the same year

Statistics for crab apple

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crab apple.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for crab apple

crab apple


English Language Learners Definition of crab apple

: a small, sour apple or the kind of tree that produces it

crab apple


Kids Definition of crab apple

1 : an apple tree grown for its white, pink, or red flowers or its small usually brightly colored sour fruit
2 : the small sour fruit of a crab apple tree

More from Merriam-Webster on crab apple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crab apple Encyclopedia article about crab apple

Comments on crab apple

What made you want to look up crab apple? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!