When I pick up an apple from the garden, it is rather hard.

If I then wait for 2 weeks, it becomes _ _ _ , which means it is not hard anymore, and not as tasty because the food's texture has changed.

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What is the word I am looking for here? (this kind of texture, preferably not just for food)
In French I would say mou, in Japanese 柔らかい.
But the proposed translations "soft" and "pliable" do not seem to convey the concept.

  • 3
    "Soft" works; "mushy" is probably more common colloquially. "Pliable" is dead wrong: it means 'capable of being folded', and I don't think apples ever achieve that (but applesauce can be folded into a batter). We tend to say "crisp" rather than "hard" for the earlier stage. Jun 10, 2013 at 11:20
  • Also, in UK gone off (see sense 5 of go off) and past its sell-by Jun 10, 2013 at 15:59

3 Answers 3


At this point the fruit has become too ripe, or overripe. This is what literally describes fruits/vegetables that have sat around too long and are no longer at the peak of taste and texture, as you describe.

Some adjectives that may be used to describe overly ripe fruit, and which could also be used for objects with similar physical characteristics, might be soft, squishy, mushy, and similar words. Note that some fruits (such as peaches) are soft even when properly ripe, so you might be careful which words you use depending on the fruit in question. Though you did mention you wanted words not just for foods, so perhaps that won't be a problem.


A fruit that has lost its hardness and its freshness is one that has become mushy. That is, soft and bland-tasting, not crisp.


Someone from Britain might say: "The apple's gone manky". Which would mean it has become rotten and inedible. Perhaps too harsh a word for only a two-week-old fruit, but "manky" lends itself not only to food but to other objects: clothes, shoes, tissues, teeth etc.

To describe the apple's soft floury flesh we can say: mealy.

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