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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.barberry - any of numerous plants of the genus Berberis having prickly stems and yellow flowers followed by small red berriesbarberry - any of numerous plants of the genus Berberis having prickly stems and yellow flowers followed by small red berries
Berberis, genus Berberis - large genus of shrubs of temperate zones of New and Old Worlds
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
bush, shrub - a low woody perennial plant usually having several major stems
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6) Vegetable oil; 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced into half moons; 200g curly kale, tough stalks discarded,finely chopped; 200g cabbage greens, cut into thin ribbons and roughly chopped; 2tsp garlic granules; 1tsp (heaped) ground fenugreek; 1tsp (heaped) turmeric; 8 large eggs; 2tsp baking powder; 2tbsp plain flour; 2tbsp thick Greek yogurt; 2 generous handfuls of dried barberries; 40g pine nuts; 200g feta cheese, broken into small pieces; Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper METHOD 1.
Barberry Rice (Zereshk Polo)- Persians like sour flavours, barberries have a vibrant red colour and they are sour too.
Similar in size to the biggest barberries, it has dark burgundy-purple leaves and rosy pink flowers.