1. A deciduous European tree (Mespilus germanica) in the rose family, having white flowers and edible apple-shaped fruit.
2. The fruit of this plant, eaten fresh or made into preserves.
[Middle English medler, from Old French meslier, medler, from mesle, medle, fruit of the medlar, from Late Latin mespila, from Greek mespilē.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.