fruit


fruit
fruitlike, adj.
/frooht/, n., pl. fruits, (esp. collectively) fruit, v.
n.
1. any product of plant growth useful to humans or animals.
2. the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple.
3. the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana.
4. the spores and accessory organs of ferns, mosses, fungi, algae, or lichen.
5. anything produced or accruing; product, result, or effect; return or profit: the fruits of one's labors.
6. Slang (disparaging and offensive). a male homosexual.
v.i., v.t.
7. to bear or cause to bear fruit: a tree that fruits in late summer; careful pruning that sometimes fruits a tree.
[1125-75; ME < OF < L fructus enjoyment, profit, fruit, equiv. to frug-, var. s. of frui to enjoy the produce of + -tus suffix of v. action]

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I
In its strict botanical sense, the fleshy or dry ripened ovary (enlarged portion of the pistil) of a flowering plant, enclosing the seed or seeds.

Apricots, bananas, and grapes, as well as bean pods, corn grains, tomatoes, cucumbers, and (in their shells) acorns and almonds, are all technically fruits. Popularly, the term is restricted to the ripened ovaries that are sweet and either succulent or pulpy. The principal botanical purpose of the fruit is to protect and spread the seed. There are two broad categories of fruit: fleshy and dry. Fleshy fruits include berries, such as tomatoes, oranges, and cherries, which consist entirely of succulent tissue; aggregate fruits, including blackberries and strawberries, which form from a single flower with many pistils, each of which develops into fruitlets; and multiple fruits, such as pineapples and mulberries, which develop from the mature ovaries of an entire inflorescence. Dry fruits include the legumes, cereal grains, capsules, and nuts. Fruits are important sources of dietary fiber and vitamins (especially vitamin C). They can be eaten fresh; processed into juices, jams, and jellies; or preserved by dehydration, canning, fermentation, and pickling.
II
(as used in expressions)

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▪ plant reproductive body
  in its strict botanical sense, the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a plant, enclosing the seed or seeds. Thus, apricots, bananas, and grapes, as well as bean pods, corn grains, tomatoes, cucumbers, and (in their shells) acorns and almonds, are all technically fruits. Popularly, however, the term is restricted to the ripened ovaries that are sweet and either succulent or pulpy. The cultivation and processing of fruits are major industries worldwide.

 A brief treatment of fruit follows. For information on particular fruits, see apple, banana, orange, peach, and so on. For treatment of the fruit as a reproductive structure, see seed and fruit. For treatment of the cultivation of fruits, see fruit farming. For treatment of the nutrient composition and processing of fruits, see fruit processing.

      A fruit is a mature ovary and its associated parts. It usually contains seeds, which have developed from the enclosed ovule after fertilization, although development without fertilization, called parthenocarpy, is known, for example, in bananas. The principal botanical purpose of the fruit is the protection and dissemination of the seed.

      Fertilization induces various changes in a flower: the anthers and stigma wither, the petals drop off, and the sepals may be shed or undergo modifications; the ovary enlarges, and the ovules develop into seeds, each containing an embryo plant. (See also seed (seed and fruit).)

      There are two broad categories of fruits: fleshy fruits, in which the pericarp and accessory parts develop into succulent tissues, as in tomatoes, oranges, and cherries; and dry fruit, in which the entire pericarp becomes dry at maturity. Fleshy fruits include (1) the berries (berry), such as tomatoes, oranges, and cherries, in which the entire pericarp and the accessory parts are succulent tissue; (2) aggregate fruits, such as blackberries and strawberries, which form from a single flower with many pistils, each of which develops into fruitlets; and (3) multiple fruits, such as pineapples and mulberries, which develop from the mature ovaries of an entire inflorescence. Dry fruits include the legumes, cereal grains, capsulate fruits, and nuts.

      In general, the chief concerns of fruit cultivation are the propagation and improvement of varieties; the improvement of the microclimatic conditions and soil conditions of the site; the design of planting and spacing systems; the development of training and pruning techniques; soil management, irrigation, and fertilization; pollination; thinning; pest control; and the development of harvesting and postharvest practices.

      Fruits are important sources of dietary fibre and vitamins (especially vitamin C). Although fresh fruits are subject to spoilage, their shelf life can be extended by refrigeration or by the removal of oxygen from their storage or packaging containers. Fruits can be processed into juices, jams, and jellies and preserved by dehydration, canning, fermentation, and pickling.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
(of the earth for the supply of man and animals), , , / , , , , / , , / / (of certain plants and agreeable flavor)


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