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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.
Origin of crab apple
1705-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for crab-apple
Historical Examples
  • The pear is a native of Europe and Asia, and, in its natural state, is quite as unfit for the table as the crab-apple.

    Soil Culture J. H. Walden
  • Under the crab-apple tree she drew him down upon a bench beside her.

    Sally of Missouri R. E. Young
  • Shes been a regular Siberian crab-apple ever since I can remember, grumbled Jerry.

  • The Crabtree-worm can be taken by beating the branches of the crab-apple.

  • They are edible and sweet though not without a trace of bitterness, resembling the fruit of crab-apple trees.

    De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) Trans. by Francis Augustus MacNutt
  • But the prime-minister was as sour about it all as a crab-apple.

    Twilight Land Howard Pyle
  • Aunt Affy pushed the door wider and entered, bringing a glass half filled with crab-apple jelly.

    Growing Up Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • The other end is attached to a crab-apple tree that "casts a generous shade."

    In Pastures Green Peter McArthur
  • The ground there was covered with a mist of bluebells, and nearly a score of crab-apple trees were in full bloom.

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • Let them gang their ain gait, and in a few years you will have a crab-apple thicket.

    Prairie Gold Various
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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