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

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 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

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

Statistics for barberry

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for barberry

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

See more words from the same century

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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on barberry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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