Definition of pippin in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpipin/


1A red and yellow dessert apple.
Example sentences
  • Henry VIII's gardener, Richard Harris, had an orchard in Teynham producing cherries, pears, and pippins (eating apples), said to have been ‘the chief mother for all the other orchards of those kind of fruits’.
  • On the nose vibrant crisp cox's pippins are heartened by biscuity aromas.
  • Grandfather sold the russets and the codlings and the pippins from his orchard, and those he didn't sell he stored in his pristine white-washed cellar, where huge black hams and sides of bacon were hanging from black hooks.
1.1An apple grown from seed.
1.2 informal, chiefly North American An excellent person or thing.
Example sentences
  • Halfway through a discussion on mediation, David Michael brings out the Parable of the Oranges, and it's a pippin of a parable.
  • But she's a pippin as sure as you're born.


Middle English: from Old French pepin, of unknown ultimate origin.

  • pip from late 18th century:

    The name for the small hard seed in a fruit is a shortening of pippin, an apple grown from seed. English adopted the word from French, but its ultimate origin is unknown. The British politician Sir Eric Geddes was the first to use the expression squeeze until the pips squeak, ‘to extract the maximum amount of money from’, in a 1918 speech about the compensation to be paid by Germany after the First World War: ‘The Germans…are going to pay every penny; they are going to be squeezed as a lemon is squeezed…until the pips squeak.’ Another pip is an unpleasant disease of chickens and other birds which is documented as far back as medieval times. From the late 15th century various human diseases and ailments also came to be called the pip, though the precise symptoms are rarely specified: today's equivalent would probably be the dreaded lurgy ( see lurgy). Whatever the nature of the disease, the sufferer would probably be in a foul mood, hence the pip became ‘bad temper’ and to give someone the pip was to irritate or depress them. The name came from medieval Dutch pippe, which was probably based on Latin pituita ‘slime, phlegm’, found also in pituitary gland (early 17th century).

Words that rhyme with pippin


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pip·pin

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