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.

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

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World English Dictionary
quince (kwɪns)
1.  a small widely cultivated Asian rosaceous tree, Cydonia oblonga, with pinkish-white flowers and edible pear-shaped fruits
2.  the acid-tasting fruit of this tree, much used in preserves
3.  another name for japonica Also: Japanese or flowering quince
[C14 qwince plural of quyn quince, from Old French coin, from Latin cotōneum, from Greek kudōnion quince, Cydonian (apple)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., plural of quoyn, from O.Fr. cooin, from L. cotoneum malum "quince fruit," probably a variant of cydonium malum, from Gk. 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- was also the Lydian name for the fruit.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The apple bread pudding and quince ice cream have been served.
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