1 of 2

noun (1)

: any of certain small fruits usually considered inferior or unfit for human consumption (as the chokeberry, prickly wild gooseberry, certain rose hips, or the fruit of the mountain ash)
especially : the fruit of the red dogwood
: any plant (as certain dogwoods, mountain ash, or yellow clintonia) that bears dogberries


2 of 2

noun (2)

ˈdȯgˌberē sometimes ˈdäg-
plural Dogberrys
: a blundering official
often : policeman, constable

Word History


Noun (1)

dog entry 1 + berry

Noun (2)

from Dogberry, a foolish constable in Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1801, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dogberry was in 1676

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Dictionary Entries Near dogberry

Cite this Entry

“Dogberry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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