noun \ˈbär-lē\

: a kind of grain used for food and to make beer and whiskey; also : the plant on which this grain grows

Full Definition of BARLEY

:  a cereal grass (genus Hordeum and especially H. vulgare) having the flowers in dense spikes with long awns and three spikelets at each joint of the rachis; also :  its seed used especially in malt beverages, breakfast foods, and stock feeds

Origin of BARLEY

Middle English barly, from Old English bærlic of barley; akin to Old English bere barley, Latin far spelt
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun \ˈbär-lē\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of BARLEY

: a cereal grass (genus Hordeum, especially H. vulgare) having the flowers in dense spikes with long awns; also : its seed used in malt beverages and in breakfast foods and stock feeds


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Cereal plant of the genus Hordeum, in the family Poaceae (or Gramineae), and its edible grain. The three cultivated species are H. vulgare, H. distichum, and H. irregulare. Barley is adaptable to a greater range of climate than any other cereal. About half of the world's crop is used as livestock feed, the rest for human food and for malting. Most beer is made from malted barley, which is also used in distilled beverages (see malt). Barley has a nutlike flavour and is high in carbohydrates, with moderate quantities of protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Barley flour is used to make unleavened bread and porridge. Pearl barley, the most popular form in many parts of the world, is often added to soups.


Next Word in the Dictionary: barleybreak
Previous Word in the Dictionary: barless
All Words Near: barley

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up barley? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).