bar·​ber·​ry | \ ˈbär-ˌber-ē How to pronounce barberry (audio) , -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 Along with barberry bushes, research shows that when Asian honeysuckle shrubs invade an understory, more deer ticks result — and a higher percentage are infected with Lyme disease. Ellen Nibali,, "Garden Q&A: What is this flashy fall tree? And this shrub that’s keeping its leaves?," 12 Nov. 2020 Rice is browned with meat — usually lamb or mutton — then stewed in a caldron called a kazan with onions, garlic and carrots, and spiced with cumin, coriander, barberries or raisins, marigold and pepper. Charly Wilder, New York Times, "12 Days on the Most Storied Highway of Them All: The Silk Road," 10 Mar. 2020 At the Iranian Club, steam tables overflow with kebabs, rice with barberries and pistachios, bread and stew. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "The once flourishing Iranian community in Dubai faces pressure amid Gulf tensions," 13 Aug. 2019 Under them are a pencil cactus on a stand that turns an orange/red color; a red barberry; and a Weigela that has bright pink flowers, said Duckert. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Minutes from downtown, a garden wonderland — and you can see it in July," 20 June 2019 The dishes found in their pages — from pozole and pupusas to bibimbap and barberry rice — confirm that diversity is indeed delicious. Sarah Henry, Washington Post, "A new wave of immigrant cookbooks celebrates America’s delicious diversity," 27 June 2019 The latter is a greatest hits of salads and dips and breads from the menu, anchored by what is perhaps the best egg dish on the East Side: the kuku, a sort of frittata shot through with green herbs, studded with barberries and creamy white beans. Krista Simmons, Condé Nast Traveler, "35 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles," 27 Feb. 2018 Egyptian lamb fattah and Persian chicken with barberry rice, according to The Telegraph. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Meghan Markle Gets Into the Thanksgiving Spirit," 21 Nov. 2018 Many of the vendors sell the same ingredients—Persian dried limes, saffron, barberries, rose hips, and traditional Middle Eastern spice mixes. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Shops in Dubai," 5 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about barberry

Time Traveler for barberry

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for barberry

Cite this Entry

“Barberry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on barberry

Nglish: Translation of barberry for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about barberry

Comments on barberry

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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