medlar

[med-ler]
noun
1.
a small tree, Mespilus germanica, of the rose family, the fruit of which resembles a crab apple and is not edible until the early stages of decay.
2.
any of certain related trees.
3.
the fruit of any of these trees.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English medler < Anglo-French, equivalent to medle (Old French mesle the fruit < Latin mespilum < Greek méspilon) + -er -er2

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Collins
World English Dictionary
medlar (ˈmɛdlə)
 
n
1.  a small Eurasian rosaceous tree, Mespilus germanica
2.  the fruit of this tree, which resembles the crab apple and is not edible until it has begun to decay
3.  any of several other rosaceous trees or their fruits
 
[C14: from Old French medlier, from Latin mespilum medlar fruit, from Greek mespilon]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

medlar
"small fruit-bearing tree," mid-14c. (in reference to the fruit itself), from O.Fr. medler, variant of mesple, from L. mespila "fruit of the medlar," from Gk. mespilion, a foreign word of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

medlar

(species Mespilus germanica), tree of the rose family (Rosaceae), closely allied to the genus Pyrus, in which it is sometimes included. A native of Europe from The Netherlands southward and of western Asia, it occurs in middle and southern England as a small, much-branched, deciduous, spinous tree. The flowers are white or pink-tinged, with five petals. The fruit is globular but depressed above, with leafy, persistent sepals, and contains stones of a hemispheric shape. It is not fit to eat until it begins to decay; then it takes on an agreeable acid and somewhat astringent flavour. Several varieties are cultivated

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Try the curd cheese soufflé on rose petals and medlar fruit.
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