med·​lar ˈmed-lər How to pronounce medlar (audio)
: a small deciduous Eurasian tree (Mespilus germanica) of the rose family whose fruit resembles a crab apple and is used in preserves
also : its fruit

Examples of medlar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The winter garden windows open electronically (also per Otto’s design) and look out onto verdant thatches of privacy-preserving bamboo and medlar; from his desk, Heimer faces the massive 90-year-old chestnut tree, its leaves blushing madly with fall color. Megan O’Grady, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2020 And things get worse — looks-wise — for medlar from now on. Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2019 None other than Charlemagne included medlar among the mandatory plants for his royal estates. Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2019 Like medlar, these fruits were popular hundreds of years ago. Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2019 Local favorites include apfelwein, akin to dry French cider; Gin Sieben, a Frankfurt-style gin infused with seven specific herbs, including borage and sorrel; and mispelchen, a brandy made with medlar, a persimmon-like fruit. Adam Erace, Fortune, 30 June 2017

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

Word History


Middle English medeler, from Anglo-French medler, from medle medlar fruit, from Latin mespilum, from Greek mespilon

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of medlar was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near medlar

Cite this Entry

“Medlar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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