variants or less commonly agrito
plural -s
: a shrub (Mahonia trifoliata) of Texas, New Mexico, and adjacent Mexico that yields a yellow dye, a tanning extract, and an ink and produces a bright red berry that is used to make jelly compare oregon grape

Word History


borrowed from regional Spanish (Mexico, Texas, U.S. Southwest) agarita, algerita, agrito, agritos, all probably reshaped from agrillo, noun derivative of Spanish agrillo "somewhat sour," attenuated form of agrio "sour, acidic," alteration (after agriar "to cause to turn sour") of Old Spanish agro, going back to Latin ācr-, ācer "sharp, bitter"

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agarita was in 1886

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near agarita

Cite this Entry

“Agarita.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!