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crab apple

a small, sour, wild apple.
any of various small, tart, cultivated varieties of apple, used for making jelly and preserves.
any tree bearing such fruit.
1705-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for crab apple

crab apple

any of several rosaceous trees of the genus Malus that have white, pink, or red flowers and small sour apple-like fruits
the fruit of any of these trees, used to make jam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for crab apple

any of several small trees of the genus Malus, in the rose family (Rosaceae), native to North America and Asia. Crabs are widely grown for their attractive growth habit, spring flower display, and decorative fruit. The fragrant five-petaled, white, pink, carmine, or purplish flowers appear early in showy masses. The fruits are much smaller and more tart than the common apple but are suitable for jellies, preserves, and cider. The tree itself is stiffer in form and more spiny than the common apple.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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