apple of someone's eye

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PIE word

From Middle English appel of the eie (pupil of the eye; cornea; (figurative) something highly valued),[1] from Old English æppel on the ēagan, used in biblical texts (Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalm 17:8; Proverbs 7:2, Lamentations 2:18, and Zechariah 2:8; compare the quotations) as a calque of Biblical Hebrew אִישׁוֹן עֵינוֹ (ʾîšôn ʿênô, pupil of the eye).[2]



apple of someone's eye (plural apples of someone's eye)

  1. (idiomatic) The object of somebody's affections; a person (or sometimes a thing) that someone strongly prefers; a favourite, a loved one.
    Sara was never the same after losing her daughter, the apple of her eye.

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ “appel of the [eie]” under “eie, n.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ the apple of a person’s eye” under eye, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2024; “the apple of one’s eye, phrase” under apple, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]