noun, often attributive
\ ˈfrüt How to pronounce fruit (audio) \
plural fruits

Definition of fruit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
3a : 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; fruiting; fruits

Definition of fruit (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to bear fruit

transitive verb

: to cause to bear fruit

Other Words from fruit


fruited \ ˈfrü-​təd How to pronounce fruit (audio) \ adjective

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,, 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,, 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,, 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Small tomato plants, known as patio or bush varieties, grow and fruit best in containers. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 June 2022 Water is the only beverage and fruit the only food item allowed. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 11 May 2022 Trees grafted to rootstock can fruit in as little as two years, and trees grown from seeds take up to seven years. Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2022 Both really do need an outdoor greenhouse, cold frame or a really sunny summer window, though there are a few varieties that will fruit outdoors. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Apr. 2022 The diversity of barrel types and treatments has grown over the years, as has expertise in matching barrels to fruit. Lettie Teague, WSJ, 3 Feb. 2022 Spicebush thrives in woodland conditions, so if its needs are being met and growth looks normal, a female plant should fruit in due time. Miri Talabac,, 20 Jan. 2022 Chinese cities, provinces and sea ports test not just people but also fruit for the coronavirus. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, 18 Jan. 2022 Apple butter is comparable to fruit preserves and can be spread on toast, swirled into yogurt, or topped on pancakes or French toast. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 10 Oct. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of fruit


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fruit

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French frut, fruit, from Latin fructus fruit, use, from frui to enjoy, have the use of — more at brook

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Time Traveler for fruit

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

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Cite this Entry

“Fruit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fruit


\ ˈfrüt How to pronounce fruit (audio) \

Kids Definition of fruit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually soft and juicy plant part (as rhubarb, a strawberry, or an orange) that is often eaten as a dessert and is distinguished from a vegetable
2 : a product of fertilization in a seed plant that consists of the ripened ovary of a flower with its included seeds Apples, cucumbers, nuts, and blueberries are all fruits.
3 : result entry 2 sense 1, product You can enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Other Words from fruit

fruited \ -​əd \ adjective a fruited plant


fruited; fruiting

Kids Definition of fruit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bear or cause to bear fruit


noun, often attributive
\ ˈfrüt How to pronounce fruit (audio) \

Medical Definition of fruit

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 of fruit

1a : 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)
2a 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

More from Merriam-Webster on fruit

Nglish: Translation of fruit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fruit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fruit


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