bar·ley | \ˈbär-lē \

Definition of barley 

: a cereal grass (genus Hordeum and especially H. vulgare) having the flowers in dense spikes with long awns and three spikelets at each joint of the rachis also : its seed used especially in malt beverages, breakfast foods, and stock feeds

Examples of barley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Gluten is actually a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Miguel Saps, M.d., miamiherald, "Is eating gluten really bad for you?," 19 June 2018 Gluten refers to proteins found in wheat, Sheela said — that includes grains in the wheat family such as rye, barley and triticale. Lauren Delgado,, "A guide to gluten-free-friendly dining in Central Florida," 10 May 2018 Toasted bread and barley dominate the nose, giving way to floral, fruity notes imparted by the Belgian Saison yeast. Howie Khan, WSJ, "A Fresh Take on Liquor From Two Noma Alums," 25 Apr. 2018 According to Gundry, gluten — a protein that’s found in wheat, barley rye, and triticale — is just one type of lectin. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How Kelly Clarkson Lost Nearly 40 Pounds on the Plant Paradox Diet," 25 June 2018 Since the spirits are made from beer, they are produced from barley malt. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Beyond beer: SanTan Brewing Company now makes its own vodka, whiskey," 19 June 2018 Red Lager is brewed with toasted barley grains for a slightly sweet aroma with a touch of hops, a rich caramel malt taste and a smooth finish with a hint of molasses. Brian Feldt,, "New Budweiser beer is inspired by George Washington recipe," 2 May 2018 Copper City Bourbon: 45 percent ABV, made from corn, rye and barley, aged fewer than four years. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Micah Olson gets behind the bar of Arizona Distilling Co.'s new cocktail lounge," 27 June 2018 Brewing relies on grains, typically malted barley, which are first soaked in hot water. Larissa Zimberoff, New York Times, "From Brewery to Bakery: A Flour That Fights Waste," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barley.' 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 barley

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for barley

Middle English barly, from Old English bærlic of barley; akin to Old English bere barley, Latin far spelt

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Phrases Related to barley

barley sugar

barley wine

Statistics for barley

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for barley

The first known use of barley was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for barley



English Language Learners Definition of barley

: a kind of grain used for food and to make beer and whiskey; also : the plant on which this grain grows


bar·ley | \ˈbär-lē \

Kids Definition of barley

: a cereal grass grown for its grain which is used mostly to feed farm animals or make malt


bar·ley | \ˈbär-lē \

Medical Definition of barley 

: a cereal grass (genus Hordeum, especially H. vulgare) having the flowers in dense spikes with long awns also : its seed used in malt beverages and in breakfast foods and stock feeds

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Comments on barley

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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