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[kwins] /kwɪns/
either of two small trees, Cydonia oblonga or C. sinensis, of the rose family, bearing hard, fragrant, yellowish fruit used chiefly for making jelly or preserves.
the fruit of such a tree.
Origin of quince
1275-1325; Middle English quince, apparently orig. plural (taken as singular) of quyne, coyn < Middle French cooin < Latin cotōneum, akin to cydōnium < Greek (mêlon) Kydṓnion quince, literally, (apple) of Cydonia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for quince
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this moment of marine disaster, Mr. quince displayed great coolness and judgment.

    The Triumph of Virginia Dale John Francis, Jr.
  • Hans Marais reached the quince hedge first and sprang off his steed.

    The Settler and the Savage R.M. Ballantyne
  • They thrive only on standard stocks, refusing to do well on the quince unless double worked.

    The Pears of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Winterbottom stood before Tom, and quince with his back to them.

    Jacob Faithful Captain Frederick Marryat
  • No Sanskrit name is known for the quince, whence it may be inferred that its area did not extend towards the centre of Asia.

    Origin of Cultivated Plants Alphonse De Candolle
  • quince preserves may be made by the same recipe as that used for pears.

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia Marion Cabell Tyree
  • It is stated that the word marmalade is derived from marmelo, the Portuguese name for quince.

  • Fruit, a little turbinate, or top-shaped, somewhat resembling a quince.

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
  • I put the last switch of tobaccy I had in the world into that pipe, just arter throwing myself outside of that quince of fish.

    Adrift in the Wilds Edward S. Ellis
British Dictionary definitions for quince


a small widely cultivated Asian rosaceous tree, Cydonia oblonga, with pinkish-white flowers and edible pear-shaped fruits
the acid-tasting fruit of this tree, much used in preserves
Also Japanese or flowering quince another name for japonica
Word Origin
C14 qwince plural of quyn quince, from Old French coin, from Latin cotōneum, from Greek kudōnion quince, Cydonian (apple)
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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Word Origin and History for quince

early 14c., plural of quoyn, from Old French cooin (Modern French coing), from Vulgar Latin codoneum, from Latin cotoneum malum "quince fruit," probably a variant of cydonium malum, from Greek kydonion malon "apple of Kydonia" (modern Khania), ancient seaport city in Crete.

The plant is native to Persia, Anatolia, and Greece; the Greeks imported grafts for their native plants from a superior strain in Crete, hence the name. Kodu- also was the Lydian name for the fruit. Italian cotogno, German Quitte, etc. all are ultimately from the Greek word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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