barley

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noun 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

Recent Examples of barley from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of barley

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



BARLEY Defined for English Language Learners

barley

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noun

Definition of barley for English Language Learners

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


BARLEY Defined for Kids

barley

play
noun bar·ley \ ˈbär-lē \

Definition of barley for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

barley

play
noun 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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