bar·​ber·​ry | \ˈbär-ˌber-ē, -ˌbe-rē\

Definition of barberry 

: any of a genus (Berberis of the family Berberidaceae, the barberry family) of shrubs usually having spines, usually yellow flowers, and oblong red or blackish berries

Examples of barberry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Participants will spend the rest of June and most of July scouring woods and removing buckthorn, Japanese barberry and other invasive plant species. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Teens discover benefits of working summers in forest preserves," 27 June 2018 This is bush honeysuckle, a foreign invasive shrub even more implicated in the spread of Lyme disease than barberry. Ellen Nibali,, "Garden Q&A: Get rid of those patches of honeysuckle," 31 May 2018 Cook barberries, stirring often, until plumped slightly and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Andy Baraghani, Bon Appetit, "Crunchy Baked Saffron Rice with Barberries (Tachin)," 19 Mar. 2018 Wheat rust needs barberry to survive, cedar-apple rust needs both juniper and an apple relative, and white pine blister rust needs a susceptible member of the currant family. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015 Scatter half of barberries over and top with remaining rice. Andy Baraghani, Bon Appetit, "Crunchy Baked Saffron Rice with Barberries (Tachin)," 19 Mar. 2018 Rose Glow’ variegated Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea): Dramatic deciduous shrub that unfolds new growth of deep burgundy leaves splashed with pink and cream., "6 vibrant, colorful shrubs to spruce up Oregon gardens," 9 Apr. 2018 The five-course prix-fixe menu starts with kuku sabzi, a labor-intensive dish that involves a garden's worth of fresh herbs, eggs, walnuts and barberries. Jenn Harris,, "Where to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian and Zoroastrian New Year celebration," 8 Mar. 2018 Anything with thorns or a strong scent, like barberry or herbs, are usually unappealing. Jennifer Heilman,, "Master gardeners offer advice on protecting plants," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barberry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barberry

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for barberry

Middle English berberie, from Medieval Latin berberis, from Arabic barbārīs

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The first known use of barberry was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for barberry


bar·​ber·​ry | \ˈbär-ˌber-ē, British often & US sometimes -b(ə-)rē\
plural barberries

Medical Definition of barberry 

1 : any shrub of the genus Berberis

2a : an evergreen shrub of the genus Mahonia (especially M. aquifolium)

b : berberis sense 2

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