Meaning of apple in English:


Pronunciation /ˈapl/

See synonyms for apple on

Translate apple into Spanish


  • 1The round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin green or red skin and crisp flesh.

    ‘It could be something specific, Victoria plum skins or green apples.’
    • ‘Cate picked a few apples from a fruit tree in the grove, wondering if they had any food to eat.’
    • ‘The apple cider, made exclusively with crisp, sweet winesap apples, is spicy and just winey enough.’
    • ‘Last week the kids had made apple crisp with the apples they picked on my second day.’
    • ‘What do plastic garbage bags, human flesh, and the skins of apples all have in common?’
    • ‘It is inside the green cells of spinach leaves and the damp flesh of apples.’
    • ‘The trees grow fruit with appetizing flavor: blue apples, green oranges, and bananas.’
    • ‘Tap on a freshly dug potato and it feels crisp, like an apple right off the tree.’
    • ‘I stand outside the vegetable shop as Rose buys some apples, carrots and a cauliflower.’
    • ‘On the tree, quince starts out mimicking a green apple, but as it ripens it takes on the color and look of a lemon.’
    • ‘It could be the beautiful autumn sunshine glistening off mountains of green and red apples which has brought about this unusual state of contemplation.’
    • ‘I mean, do you think that green apples are only grown on a certain farm?’
    • ‘After a rain or when they're crushed, the leaves smell like green apples.’
    • ‘Scoop out the cores and cut the apples across into thin half-moon slices.’
    • ‘Using a sharp knife, peel, core and slice the apples into thin wedges.’
    • ‘Autumn is ideal for crisp British apples to accompany a ploughman's lunch of local farmhouse cheese.’
    • ‘Arrange the apples so that rounded sides are on the bottom of the pan.’
    • ‘Walk boldly to the post office to send your snail mail, munching on a daily apple as you admire green spaces along the way.’
    • ‘In soft fruit such as tomato this process occurs early in ripening whereas in crisp fruits such as apple it is a late-ripening process.’
    • ‘Eighteen lumps of different cheeses littered the table amongst baskets of green and red apples and ripe pears.’
    1. 1.1Used in names of unrelated fruits or other plant growths that resemble apples in some way, e.g. custard apple, oak apple.
      ‘After a while I found that I liked to eat some custard apples better than others.’
      • ‘Montego Bay offered us some custard apples, mangoes, guineps, and naseberries.’
      • ‘George ran to an oak tree and picked up an oak apple.’
  • 2

    (also apple tree)
    The tree bearing apples, with hard pale timber that is used in carpentry and to smoke food.

    Genus Malus, family Rosaceae: numerous hybrids and cultivars

    ‘The whole house is covered in Virginia creeper and among the trees are an apple tree, cedar, Japanese cedar and large cypress.’
    • ‘Flowers grew all around, and I saw an apple tree and a peach tree to the side.’
    • ‘Let me develop that illustration in a familiar way, contrasting a Christmas tree with an apple tree.’
    • ‘Spring is when the apple tree blooms, and beneath it hundreds of white daffodils and tulips come into flower.’
    • ‘The best pruning job I've ever seen was done by a herd of cows on a wild apple tree.’
    • ‘A standard apple tree usually takes two years to start fruiting and four years to reach full production.’
    • ‘Prune your apple tree every winter before you detect any signs of new growth.’
    • ‘I have three plums and three pears, and a bunch of apples from my apple tree.’
    • ‘I landed in some flowers beneath an apple tree, and two apples fell on my head.’
    • ‘Plant an apple tree and it will be at least a couple of years before you'll even begin to see any fruit.’
    • ‘We leave a little patch of grass around the base of the apple tree uncut each year so the colony of bluebells can flourish.’
    • ‘Climbing back up the hill I relished the fine display of daffodils lining the path up to the apple tree.’
    • ‘Fruit trees such as apples, currants and gooseberries should do well and, to be more exotic, you could try nectarines and cherries.’
    • ‘Fruit trees, apples, pears and plums for the most part, are weighed down with a good year's crop.’
    • ‘Fruit trees such as apples, pears, and cherries are also important household assets.’
    • ‘The young fruit of apples and grapes can also develop rough skin due to powdery mildew.’
    • ‘Powdery mildew is common to many kinds of plants besides apples.’
    • ‘From 1905 to 1918, he brought back samples of plants from apples to zoysia grass.’
    • ‘The result is an incongruous lush patchwork of fields containing tomatoes, cherries, apples and corn, all surrounded by desert.’
    • ‘Grapes hang from a pergola, apples are espaliered and ripe berries tempt the visitor.’


    a bad apple
    • A bad or corrupt person in a group, typically one whose behaviour is likely to have a detrimental influence on their associates.

      • ‘looks like we hired ourselves a bad apple’
      • ‘chartered accountants have no time for rotten apples in their professional barrel’
      • ‘That's all I'm saying, is we have to start blaming the barrel and not simply saying there are a few bad apples who corrupted the barrel.’
      • ‘Still, aggressive masculine behaviour isn't the problem of a few bad apples.’
      • ‘Some reports list the officers and agencies responsible by name, but they are likely never to be considered bad apples, but only the custodians of a barrel that had some defects.’
      • ‘What he did in his speech last week was take the bad apple approach and say OK, what we're going to do is we're going to stiffen the penalties on the bad apples.’
      • ‘But you can't weed out the bad apples by merely having a national I.D. card.’
      • ‘A few more bad apples will be identified, they'll be suspended with pay and the allegations against them will be disposed of in some way or another.’
      • ‘In reply he got the by now standard answer that there are crooks in all professions and the few bad apples must not be allowed to contaminate the image of the entire barrel.’
      • ‘If one restaurant is doing badly it doesn't have access to the bank accounts of the other restaurants and thus there is no way for the bad apples to drag down the barrel.’
      • ‘We're human and out of any group of people there are bad apples.’
      • ‘It is far more realistic to turn your complaining inward, and pressure the bad apples in your group to stop pulling down the average.’


      With reference to the effect that a rotten apple has on fruit with which it is in contact.

    apples and oranges
    North American
    • Used with reference to two things that are fundamentally different and therefore not suited to comparison.

      ‘unless you also drove a Corolla on the same roads as the A8, you're comparing apples and oranges’
      • ‘Like apples and oranges, they are simply different.’
      • ‘Some would say this is apples and oranges, that recreational golf is different to tournament golf.’
      • ‘But (as I noted before), we compare apples and oranges all the time!’
      • ‘It's like apples and oranges - there is no comparison.’
      • ‘I mean, we are really talking apples and oranges when we compare these religions.’
      • ‘The problem, he says, is that you're comparing apples and oranges - empty space and fully equipped, fully staffed space.’
      • ‘But perhaps we're comparing apples and oranges.’
      • ‘The second point is that in comparing the average house of today with the average house of twenty, forty or a hundred years ago, we are mixing apples and oranges.’
      • ‘But publishers argue that the report mixed apples and oranges.’
      • ‘In your analysis, you are comparing apples and oranges.’
    apples and pears
    British rhyming slang
    • Stairs.

      ‘he hasn't made it up those apples and pears in ten years’
      • ‘Does the Greater London Assembly issue directives on disabled access and suggest fitting elevators to replace apples and pears?’
      • ‘Thus the trouble and strife would walk down the apples and pears and along the frog and toad to use the public dog and bone.’
      • ‘If you would care to accompany me up the apples and pears I think I have what you are looking for.’
      • ‘He actually said ‘I fell down the apples and pears’ in the newspaper report.’
      • ‘I'll watch that one before climbing the apples and pears!’
      • ‘I’d better go down the ‘apples and pears’ and put the kettle on to make some tea.’
    apples to apples
    North American
    • often with negative Used with reference to a comparison regarded as valid because it concerns two things that are fundamentally the same.

      ‘there is no apples-to-apples comparison when comparing a foreign currency to USD’
      • ‘you want to compare us to Australia or Great Britain, like it’s apples to apples’
      • ‘Simply put, comparing our operations to commercial operations is not an apples to apples proposition.’
      • ‘This setup should provide as close to apples to apples in terms of hardware configuration.’
      • ‘This virtualization stuff is so new, so tricky and so varied that apples to apples measurements are almost impossible.’
      • ‘"The numbers that are out there today are not apples to apples," he says.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, you can't get 8 and 16 MB cache versions in the same capacities, which makes it impossible to compare apples to apples.’
      • ‘While we try to maintain an apples to apples test environment, we feel the different brands of comparable products should have minimal impact on the final scores.’
      • ‘You're going to accept their recommendation, especially if, price-wise, we're talking roughly apples to apples.’
      • ‘"People have to understand that this comparison is not necessarily apples to apples," he said.’
      • ‘By nature, the lists aren't apples to apples comparisons.’
      • ‘Of course this is based on an apples to apples scenario.’
    she's apples
    Australian, New Zealand informal
    • Used to indicate that everything is in good order and there is nothing to worry about.

      • ‘‘Is the fire safe?’ ‘Yeah, she's apples.’’
      • ‘Just give the cooler a light rough up with a wire brush or green scotch pad and then wipe with prepsol, paint with heatproof and she's apples.’
      • ‘I've now configured my MTA to add a message ID if it's missing and she's apples.’
      • ‘Yes, I turn the TV down 35% and she's apples.’
      • ‘Brakes will need adjusting if the bike shop hasn't put the washers in for the adjusters, all you need is some lock tight and she's apples.’


      From apples and spice or apples and rice, rhyming slang for ‘nice’.

    the apple never falls far from the tree
    • Important family characteristics are usually inherited.

      ‘he's a fool, Mary, as his father was—the apple never falls far from the tree’
      • ‘It is said, in our area and among our families, that the apple never falls far from the tree, and Jair inherited skill and teaching from his father, which leaves me hopeful.’
      • ‘She is an avid collector of proverbs from many languages, even those she does not speak, like Swedish, ‘Eplet faller inte bort från treet,’ the apple never falls far from the tree.’
      • ‘Her grandfather was once a very loyal supporter of the Dark Sorcerers and I am afraid the apple never falls far from the tree.’
      • ‘It scared her when that happened, because she knew the old saying that ‘the apple never falls far from the tree.’’
      • ‘But as we all know, the apple never falls far from the tree and it wasn’t long before I was back writing application software.’
      • ‘He’s proof positive that the apple never falls far from the tree.’
      • ‘Well, my life has been living proof that the apple never falls far from the tree.’
    the apple of one's eye
    • A person of whom one is extremely fond and proud.

      ‘a daughter who had ceased to be the apple of her father's eye’
      • ‘He adored her, she was the apple of his eye and she loved her dad.’
      • ‘Your child is quite rightly the apple of your eye.’
      • ‘And I know that to every mummy and daddy, they are the apple of their eye, the perfect centre of their Universe.’
      • ‘You are the apple of my eye - forever you'll stay in my heart!’
      • ‘She was the apple of my eye because she was always smiling.’
      • ‘He also has a 12 year old daughter Alison, the apple of his eye.’
      • ‘I can't remember my Grandfather but apparently I was the apple of his eye.’
      • ‘Everyone seemed to be the apple of her eye as she tripped from one festoon corner to another to relish the savoury dish.’
      • ‘The eldest of these, Katie, is the apple of his eye.’
      • ‘Ramona was the apple of his eye, no ship or captain or crew could have pulled him away from her, not even the insistent calling of the ocean herself.’


      Originally denoting the pupil of the eye, considered to be a globular solid body, extended as a symbol of something cherished.

    upset the apple cart
    • Spoil a plan or disturb the status quo.

      ‘And, because I'm a contrarian at heart, I'll root for perverse storylines that will upset the apple cart and disturb the powers that be.’
      • ‘They were breaking with the status quo, upsetting the apple cart, taking part in a 60s style rebellion against the establishment.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, books were meant to upset the apple cart, to make politicians nervous, threaten the status quo, shake up our expectations, make us question things anew.’
      • ‘It is so lucrative for investment bankers, fund managers and brokers that none have any interest in upsetting the apple cart.’
      • ‘Land speculators and developers are the biggest donors to civic election campaigns, he explained, so he doubts many city councillors or prospective mayors will want to upset the apple cart between now and October.’
      • ‘Every one of the players currently in the Celtic squad are imbued with that ethic, and while a deluge of imports may lift morale, the drip-drip effect is less likely to upset the apple cart.’
      • ‘‘I think it would be a shame to upset the apple cart,’ she added.’
      • ‘And there's another reason people don't want to upset the apple cart.’
      • ‘She is one of the most thoughtful judges on the court and is not afraid to upset the apple cart by doing the right thing.’
      • ‘Science is upsetting the apple cart, challenging long held notions related to life span and personality, undermining our cherished, traditional thoughts about ourselves.’


Old English æppel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch appel and German Apfel.