apricot


apricot
[16] The word apricot reached English by a peculiarly circuitous route from Latin. The original term used by the Romans for the apricot, a fruit which came ultimately from China, was prūnum Arminiacum or mālum Arminiacum ‘Armenian plum or apple’ (Armenia was an early source of choice apricots). But a new term gradually replaced these: mālum praecocum ‘early-ripening apple’ (praecocus was a variant of praecox, from which English gets precocious). Praecocum was borrowed by a succession of languages, making its way via Byzantine Greek beríkokkon and Arabic al birqūq ‘the apricot’ to Spanish albaricoque and Portuguese albricoque. This was the source of the English word, but its earliest form, abrecock, shows that it had already acquired the initial abrof French abricot, and the final -t followed almost immediately. Spellings with p instead of b are also found in the 16th century. => PRECOCIOUS

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • apricot — ► NOUN ▪ an orange yellow fruit resembling a small peach. ORIGIN Portuguese albricoque or Spanish albaricoque, from an Arabic word based on Latin praecox early ripe …   English terms dictionary

  • apricot — [ap′ri kät΄, ā′prikät΄] n. [Fr abricot < Port albricoque < Ar al birqūq < LGr praikokion < L praecoquum, early matured (fruit) < prae , beforehand + coquere, ripen, COOK] 1. a small, yellowish orange fruit that is closely related… …   English World dictionary

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  • apricot — /ap ri kot , ay pri /, n. 1. the downy, yellow, sometimes rosy fruit, somewhat resembling a small peach, of the tree Prunus armeniaca. 2. the tree itself. 3. a pinkish yellow or yellowish pink. 4. Also called wild apricot. Chiefly South Midland U …   Universalium

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  • apricot — a|pri|cot [ˈeıprıkɔt US ˈæprıka:t] n [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: abricot, from Arabic al birquq the apricot ] 1.) a small round fruit that is orange or yellow and has a single large seed 2.) [U] the orange yellow colour of an apricot… …   Dictionary of contemporary English