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late 12c., from Old French fruit "fruit, fruit eaten as dessert; harvest; virtuous action" (12c.), from Latin fructus "an enjoyment, delight, satisfaction; proceeds, produce, fruit, crops," from frug-, stem of frui "to use, enjoy," from PIE *bhrug- "agricultural produce," also "to enjoy" (see brook (v.)).
Classical sense preserved in fruits of one's labor. Originally in English meaning vegetables as well. Modern narrower sense is from early 13c. Meaning "odd person, eccentric" is from 1910; that of "male homosexual" is from 1935. The term also is noted in 1931 as tramp slang for "a girl or woman willing to oblige," probably from the fact of being "easy picking." Fruit salad recorded from 1861.
The ripened ovary of a flowering plant that contains the seeds, sometimes fused with other parts of the plant. Fruits can be dry or fleshy. Berries, nuts, grains, pods, and drupes are fruits. ◇ Fruits that consist of ripened ovaries alone, such as the tomato and pea pod, are called true fruits. ◇ Fruits that consist of ripened ovaries and other parts such as the receptacle or bracts, as in the apple, are called accessory fruits or false fruits. See also aggregate fruit, multiple fruit, simple fruit., See Note at berry.
Our Living Language : To most of us, a fruit is a plant part that is eaten as a dessert or snack because it is sweet, but to a botanist a fruit is a mature ovary of a plant, and as such it may or may not taste sweet. All species of flowering plants produce fruits that contain seeds. A peach, for example, contains a pit that can grow into a new peach tree, while the seeds known as peas can grow into another pea vine. To a botanist, apples, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, pea pods, cucumbers, and winged maple seeds are all fruits. A vegetable is simply part of a plant that is grown primarily for food. Thus, the leaf of spinach, the root of a carrot, the flower of broccoli, and the stalk of celery are all vegetables. In everyday, nonscientific speech we make the distinction between sweet plant parts (fruits) and nonsweet plant parts (vegetables). This is why we speak of peppers and cucumbers and squash—all fruits in the eyes of a botanist—as vegetables.
a word as used in Scripture denoting produce in general, whether vegetable or animal. The Hebrews divided the fruits of the land into three classes:, (1.) The fruit of the field, "corn-fruit" (Heb. dagan); all kinds of grain and pulse. (2.) The fruit of the vine, "vintage-fruit" (Heb. tirosh); grapes, whether moist or dried. (3.) "Orchard-fruits" (Heb. yitshar), as dates, figs, citrons, etc. Injunctions concerning offerings and tithes were expressed by these Hebrew terms alone (Num. 18:12; Deut. 14:23). This word "fruit" is also used of children or offspring (Gen. 30:2; Deut. 7:13; Luke 1:42; Ps. 21:10; 132:11); also of the progeny of beasts (Deut. 28:51; Isa. 14:29). It is used metaphorically in a variety of forms (Ps. 104:13; Prov. 1:31; 11:30; 31:16; Isa. 3:10; 10:12; Matt. 3:8; 21:41; 26:29; Heb. 13:15; Rom. 7:4, 5; 15:28). The fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 5:9; James 3:17, 18) are those gracious dispositions and habits which the Spirit produces in those in whom he dwells and works.