bar·​ley·​corn ˈbär-lē-ˌkȯrn How to pronounce barleycorn (audio)
: a grain of barley
: an old unit of length equal to a third of an inch

Examples of barleycorn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The resulting surfaces include barleycorn for the outer portion of the main dial; basket weave for the seconds subdial, which also displays the moon phase complication; clous de Paris within the calendar dials; as well as a wave and trough pattern on the hours and minute subdials. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 11 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'barleycorn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1500, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of barleycorn was in 1500

Dictionary Entries Near barleycorn

Cite this Entry

“Barleycorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


bar·​ley·​corn -ˌkȯ(ə)rn How to pronounce barleycorn (audio)
: a grain of barley
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