fruit

1 of 2

noun

plural fruits
often attributive
1
a
: a product of plant growth (such as grain, vegetables, or cotton)
the fruits of the field
b(1)
: the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant
especially : one having a sweet pulp associated with the seed
the fruit of the tree
(2)
: a succulent (see succulent entry 1 sense 1c) plant part (such as the petioles (see petiole sense 1) of a rhubarb plant) used chiefly in a dessert or sweet course
c
: a dish, quantity, or diet of fruits
live on fruit
d
: a product of fertilization (see fertilization sense b) in a plant with its modified envelopes or appendages
specifically : the ripened ovary (see ovary sense 2) of a seed plant and its contents
e
: the flavor or aroma of fresh fruit in mature wine
The wine's fruit is rich in tangerine, apricot, and papaya flavors.
2
: offspring, progeny
the fruit of the womb
3
a
: the state of bearing fruit
a tree in fruit
b
: the effect or consequence of an action or operation : product, result
the fruits of our labor
the fruits of victory
4
slang, offensive : a gay person
used as a term of abuse and disparagement
fruited adjective

fruit

2 of 2

verb

fruited; fruiting; fruits

intransitive verb

: to bear fruit

transitive verb

: to cause to bear fruit

Examples of fruit in a Sentence

Noun apples, oranges, and other fruits one fruit of your faithfulness in carrying out your duties will be more rewarding responsibilities Verb When will the trees fruit?
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The hanging fruits had been emblazoned with the letters of the Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. Veronica Hilbring, Essence.com, 11 July 2017 My feeling is generally in the case of summer fruit pies, if things are in season and at their peak bounty, why be skimpy? Rick Martinez, Bon Appetit, 8 July 2017 The ripe fruit character (especially the melon) will match well with the delicate flavors of the cucumber and herbs. Michael Austin, chicagotribune.com, 3 July 2017 Each book tells the different, often silly uses for the fruits. South Florida Parenting, 3 July 2017 Fruits and vegetables are easy, but whole grains can be confusing. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 6 July 2017 Just fill an empty spray bottle with diluted vinegar and spritz your produce (salad stuff, fruits, etc.) then rinse in regular water before serving. Elizabeth Narins, Cosmopolitan, 3 July 2017 Clean spill where fruit flies are landing and prep potatoes away from the handwashing station where backsplash can get onto the potatoes. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity.com, 28 June 2017 Together the three of them came up with a plan, which eventually evolved into an idea for a vast chain of replicable schools, their growth powered by small tuition payments from working parents — fruit sellers, night watchmen and washerwomen. Peg Tyre, New York Times, 27 June 2017
Verb
There are signs that this is already happening: Up until recently, the Florida Keys were the one place in the continental United States where breadfruit readily grew and fruited. Zoë Schlanger, The Atlantic, 28 Mar. 2024 Yet according to research from the Coastal Carolina University geographer Russell Fielding, the University of Miami's Gifford Arboretum now has a fruiting tree, and many of the 14 trees at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami have recently borne fruit, too. Zoë Schlanger, The Atlantic, 28 Mar. 2024 Maintain –Keep an eye on fruiting trees and begin thinning for optimum growth, stone fruit such as peaches and nectarines should be thinned 5-7 inches apart while smaller varieties can be kept slightly closer on the branch. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 12 Mar. 2024 Long before California’s peach trees start fruiting, you’ll be all warmed up for the year. Cameron Sullivan, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 As the temperatures dip, add at least 2–4 inches of mulch and compost to fruiting trees and perennials. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 That’s the graft, the point where rootstock and the fruiting wood are grafted together. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 Finally, maintain plant fertility during flowering and fruiting with regular applications of a balanced fertilizer containing calcium. Kim Toscano, Southern Living, 15 Dec. 2023 The next year, the vines fruited, and Eisterhold invited friends to help with the harvest and winemaking. Alex Mayyasi, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fruit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English fruit, frute, froyte, fructe, borrowed from Anglo-French fruit, frut (also continental Old French), going back to Latin frūctus "pleasurable possession (of something), right to enjoy the profits (of something), useful products of nature, fruit, profit, advantage," from frūg-, base of fruor, fruī "to enjoy the produce or proceeds of, derive advantage from, be blessed with, derive pleasure from" (probably going back to *frūu̯ōr < *frūi̯ōr < *frūgi̯ōr, from a dialectal Indo-European verbal base *bhruHg- "enjoy, use") + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at brook entry 2

Note: Though the derivation of fruor from frūg- is uncontested, the sequence of shifts that led to the loss of -g- is uncertain.

Verb

Middle English fruiten, derivative of fruit fruit entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of fruit was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near fruit

Cite this Entry

“Fruit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fruit. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

fruit

1 of 2 noun
1
: a usually useful product of plant growth (as grain)
fruits of the earth
2
a
: a product of fertilization in a plant with its coverings or associated parts
especially : the ripened ovary of a seed plant (as the pod of a pea, a nut, a grain, or a berry) with or without the attached parts
b
: the ripened ovary of a seed plant (as an apple or raspberry) when sweet and pulpy
c
: a juicy plant part (as the stalk of a rhubarb) used chiefly as a dessert
3
: result entry 2 sense 1, product
the fruits of our labors
fruited adjective

fruit

2 of 2 verb
: to bear or cause to bear fruit

Medical Definition

fruit

noun
often attributive
1
: the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant
especially : one having a sweet pulp associated with the seed
the fruit of the tree
2
: a product of fertilization in a plant with its modified envelopes or appendages
specifically : the ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents

Legal Definition

fruit

noun
1
a
: something (as evidence) that is obtained or gathered during an action or operation (as a search)
moved to suppress evidence seized from the room on the grounds that it was obtained as the fruit of an illegal arrestNational Law Journal
b
plural : fruit of the poisonous tree
the Court was asked to extend the…fruit doctrineOregon v. Elstad, 470 U.S. 298 (1985)
2
a
in the civil law of Louisiana : property (as income or goods) produced by or derived from other movable or immovable property without diminution of its substance
co-owners share the fruits and products of the thing heldLouisiana Civil Code
compare product sense 3
civil fruit
: the revenue derived from property especially by virtue of an obligation (as a lease)
natural fruit
: an animal or plant product (as a crop)
b
: income that is produced or earned by other property or services

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