noun \ˈhä-lē\

: a tree or bush with dark green leaves and bright red berries; also : the branches of this plant which are used for decoration especially at Christmas

plural hollies

Full Definition of HOLLY

:  any of a genus (Ilex of the family Aquifoliaceae, the holly family) of trees and shrubs; especially :  either of two (I. opaca of the eastern United States and I. aquifolium of Eurasia) with spiny-margined evergreen leaves and usually red berries often used for Christmas decorations
:  the foliage or branches of the holly

Origin of HOLLY

Middle English holin, holly, from Old English holen; akin to Old High German hulis holly, Middle Irish cuilenn
First Known Use: before 12th century


   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of HOLLY

—see sea holly


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

American holly (Ilex opaca).—© Noble Proctor—The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers

Any of approximately 400 species of red- or black-berried ornamental shrubs and trees that make up the genus Ilex (family Aquifoliaceae), including the popular Christmas hollies. English holly (I. aquifolium) bears shiny, spiny, dark, evergreen leaves; American holly (I. opaca) has oblong, prickly leaves; both have usually red fruits. There are spineless and yellow-fruited forms of both species.


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