el·​der·​ber·​ry | \ ˈel-dər-ˌber-ē , ˈel-də-, -ˌbe-rē\

Definition of elderberry

1 : the edible black or red berrylike drupe of any of a genus (Sambucus) of shrubs or trees of the honeysuckle family bearing flat clusters of small white or pink flowers
2 : a tree or shrub bearing elderberries

Illustration of elderberry

Illustration of elderberry

Examples of elderberry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Elderflower cordial is a sweet combination of sugar, lemon juice and the flowers from elderberries, and the yellow-colored syrup is often mixed with sparkling water or wine to create a refreshing beverage. Ana Calderone, PEOPLE.com, "This Elderflower Lemonade Cocktail Mimics the Flavors of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Cake," 20 Mar. 2018 Chef Patrick Jacobus concocts this gelato out of juniper brittle, white sage, elderberries, and red and white currants. Marc Stirdivant, latimes.com, "Mammoth too crowded in summer and winter? Escape in the spring or fall, a.k.a. the 'slow season'," 24 May 2018 However, since this wedding is all about intercontinental compromise, Harry and Meghan are opting for a lemon and elderberry cake instead. Aj Willingham, Cnn Design: Megan Pendergrass, CNN, "How to throw one helluva (proper) Royal Wedding party," 2 May 2018 Optional: Pick up some blackberries too, which are basically American elderberries. Aj Willingham, Cnn Design: Megan Pendergrass, CNN, "How to throw one helluva (proper) Royal Wedding party," 2 May 2018 Classic Cure An immunity greatest hits, these herbal pouches pack in echinacea, elderberries, ginger, and peppermint for a warm fuzzy feeling inside and out. Allison Young, Sunset, "10 Wellness Teas & Tonics to Give Your Immunity a Boost," 22 Jan. 2018 The creamy white blossoms are edible, and so are the elderberries that grow on the shrubs later in the summer, but the plant itself is mildly toxic. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Is Elderflower? Everything to Know About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Cake Flavor," 20 Mar. 2018 Echinacea can increase infection-fighting white blood cells, elderberry can help relieve nasal congestion, ginger can ease inflammation, and organic honey can lubricate breathing passages. Allison Young, Sunset, "10 Wellness Teas & Tonics to Give Your Immunity a Boost," 22 Jan. 2018 Look to crabapples, flowering currant, elderberry, huckleberry, forsythia, Pieris and Oregon grape. Kym Pokorny, OregonLive.com, "Mason bees go to work early in the season before honey bees emerge," 28 Jan. 2018

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

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near elderberry


el debab



elder blow



Statistics for elderberry

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for elderberry

The first known use of elderberry was in 1589

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English Language Learners Definition of elderberry

: a black or red berry that comes from a type of bush or tree with bunches of white or pink flowers
: a tree or bush that produces elderberries


el·​der·​ber·​ry | \ ˈel-dər-ˌber-ē \
plural elderberries

Kids Definition of elderberry

1 : a shrub or small tree with clusters of small white flowers and a black or red berrylike fruit
2 : the fruit of the elderberry


el·​der·​ber·​ry | \ ˈel-də(r)-ˌber-ē \
plural elderberries

Medical Definition of elderberry

1 : the edible black or red berrylike drupe of a tree or shrub of the genus Sambucus that is eaten raw or processed into preserves or wines
2 : any tree or shrub of the genus Sambucus including several whose flowers or fruits were once considered to have medicinal properties — see bourtree, sambucus sense 2

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More from Merriam-Webster on elderberry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elderberry

Spanish Central: Translation of elderberry

Nglish: Translation of elderberry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elderberry

Comments on elderberry

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a servile follower or underling

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