Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Any of various shrubs of the genus Berberis, having leaves that are often clustered, small yellow flowers, and red, orange, or blackish berries. They are grown as ornamentals or hedge plants.
[Middle English berberie, alteration (influenced by berye, berry) of Medieval Latin berberis, from Arabic barbārīs, ambirbārīs, amīrbārīs, of unknown origin.]
n, pl -ries
1. (Plants) any spiny berberidaceous shrub of the widely distributed genus Berberis, esp B. vulgaris, having clusters of yellow flowers and orange or red berries: widely cultivated as hedge plants
2. (Plants) the fruit of any of these plants
[C15: from Old French berberis, from Arabic barbāris]
bar•ber•ry(ˈbɑrˌbɛr i, -bə ri)
n., pl. -ries.
1. a shrub of the genus Berberis, esp. B. vulgaris, having yellow flowers in elongated clusters.
2. the red fruit of this shrub.
[1350–1400; Middle English barbere < Medieval Latin barbaris (< Arabic barbāris), with -baris conformed to bere berry]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||barberry - any of numerous plants of the genus Berberis having prickly stems and yellow flowers followed by small red berries|
American barberry, Berberis canadensis - deciduous shrub of eastern North America whose leaves turn scarlet in autumn and having racemes of yellow flowers followed by ellipsoid glossy red berries
Berberis vulgaris, common barberry, European barberry - upright deciduous European shrub widely naturalized in United States having clusters of juicy berries
Berberis thunbergii, Japanese barberry - compact deciduous shrub having persistent red berries; widespread in cultivation especially for hedges