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 Examples are amur maple, burning bush, lily-of-the-valley, orange daylily, creeping bellflower and various barberry. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Many common ornamental plants, such as Japanese barberry and burning bush, create serious environmental problems in natural areas outside your garden. Beth Botts,, 2 Jan. 2022 Some small trials have shown that berberine, a yellow compound extracted from many shrubs including barberry -- from which comes its name -- can improve both cholesterol and blood sugar. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 6 Dec. 2021 Japanese barberry has long been used as an ornamental, bushy plant because its leaves transform from green to a purplish color in the fall. Ryan Martin, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Sep. 2021 A century and a half later, Japanese barberry is invasive across the eastern and midwestern U.S. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Oct. 2021 And beyond being invasive, the Japanese barberry also carries diseases that can hurt Indiana crops, Abraham said. Ryan Martin, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Sep. 2021 The rule banned the ubiquitous Japanese barberry and and wintercreeper. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Aug. 2021 The rule banned the ubiquitous Japanese barberry and and wintercreeper. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for barberry

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

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Dictionary Entries Near barberry

barber pole


barberry family

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Statistics for barberry

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Barberry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on barberry

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


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