ag·​a·​ri·​ta | \ ˌa-gə-ˈrē-tə, ˌä- \
variants: or less commonly agrito \ ə-​ˈgrē-​(ˌ)tō \
plural -s

Definition of agarita

: 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

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First Known Use of agarita

1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agarita

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”

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The first known use of agarita was in 1886

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Cite this Entry

“Agarita.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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