apple of eye


apple of eye


  • the person of whom one is extremely fond, favorite, loving
  • most favourite person
  • someone most cherished, above others
  • someone or something that is very precious

Example Sentences

  1. She has three children, but her youngest son is the apple of her eye.
  2. While my grandmother loved all of us very much, my younger brother was the apple of her eye.
  3. Poor Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of my eye.
  4. She was a very charming little girl and a very bright student, and was the apple of her teachers’ eyes.
  5. He loved his daughter very much. She was the apple of his eye.
  6. He said that Kelly was the apple of his eye. He could not imagine living without her.
  7. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
  8. The young couple had a beautiful little son, and he was the apple of their eyes.
  9. He was the apple of her eye, and she promised to take care of him for as long as she could.
  10. My granddaughter is the apple of my eye, said the old man, lovingly looking at her playing in the distance.


The phrase originally had anatomical reference and was used to denote the central aperture of the eye. The expression first appeared in Old English in 885 AD, in a work attributed to King Aelfred (the Great) of Wessex, titled Gregory’s Pastoral Care. It was later used by Shakespeare in 1600 in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream and also appeared in English translations of the Bible in 1611. However, the phrase was more commonly used after it appeared in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Old Mortality in 1816.

Share your opinions8 Opinions

I ran into this “Apple of your eye” phrase recently in Proverbs 7:2. I just knew that couldn’t have been what Solomon wrote and that it had to be from an English translation. Through research, I found that it was inserted when the KJV was written around 1610-1615. Your article is right on. I knew this saying from when I was young, but was just checking to be sure that I was interpreting it correctly. Thank you!

‒ Jose D. January 8, 2022

Really appreciate the person for saying this is straight from the Bible.
Because original is original.

‒ Anonymous May 25, 2021

There is nothing about an apple in Psalm 17. “The apple of my eye,” is not mentioned there or in the Bible in the original language, Hebrew, anywhere. The KJV of 1611 uses the “apple” to indicate the pupil of the eye. The original Hebrew uses the term “ishon” which means pupil or center of the eye. The KJV makes a good choice; in fact, I rather cherish being the apple of God’s eye. In both languages there is a beautiful picture of God protecting us as we would protect the very center of our eye. (Glenn Beall).

‒ Anonymous March 6, 2020

The 885 AD writing was in Old English.
The Old Testament is in Hebrew. Not English.
In the Old Testament Hebrew the term is
“the pupil of the eye ” not the apple of the eye.
To translate the same Hebrew word meaning into
English meaning the King James translators in 1611 used
the phrase “the apple of the eye” to convey the concept of “the center of attention e.g. that which
is most precious”.

‒ Kieth August 19, 2019

I think this term was used in the Bible before the date you listed:
“For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth πŸ‘‰the apple of his eye.”πŸ‘ˆ
Zechariah 2:8 KJV

‒ Clyde Braswell March 29, 2019

You say this phrase first appeared in 881AD. Not so. This is straight from the Bible. The term was used by King David in describing God’s attitude towards him. Look up Psalm 17 and verse 8. This was written in David’s lifetime, somewhere around 1010 to 970 BC.

‒ John W. February 24, 2019

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‒ Jaclyn February 22, 2019

So is the “apple of my eye” ok to use with students? I ask because growing up I’ve have teachers use it as a term of endearment and as of way of appreciation, and I myself have used it before with my students years ago. I just want to make it’s ok. I don’t want anyone to mistake it for something it’s not.

‒ Derrick August 1, 2018

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