: a spiny yellow-flowered European shrub (Ulex europaeus) of the legume family
broadly : any of several related plants (genera Ulex and Genista)
gorsy adjective

Examples of gorse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Grassy and earth aromas, and flavors include fruit mid palate and some gorse on the finish. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2023 Brisk and seductively elegant aromas of cherries, raspberries, strawberries and slight gorse. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2023 Aromas quite light and festive and include red plums, sage, gorse and eucalyptus. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 31 July 2022 Rich and fresh red fruit aromas—wild strawberries, country lane, some gorse and menthol and melted butter. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 22 May 2022 Rich, redolent, juicy aromas of cranberries and red cherries and a hint of gorse. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 22 May 2022 In spring these are swapped for narcissi, gold gorse and yellow fists of aeonium flowers which sprout up from the plant's purple rosettes. Kate Eshelby, CNN, 14 June 2021 Scotland’s landscape is wild and expansive: rugged islands, jagged mountains, moors covered in mustard-yellow gorse. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, 5 May 2021 The autumn sun gives the greens of the fields an impossible, mythic radiance and transforms the back roads into light-muddled paths where a goblin with a riddle, or a pretty maiden with a basket, could be waiting around every gorse-and-bramble bend. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Middle English gorst, grost "gorse (Ulex europaeus), similar thorny shrubs, area overgrown with gorse," going back to Old English gorst "gorse, thorny shrub," probably going back to a zero-grade ablaut derivative of Germanic *gerstōn- "barley" — more at orgeat

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gorse was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gorse

Cite this Entry

“Gorse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gorse. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an evergreen shrub of the legume family that has yellow flowers and leaves reduced to spines

called also furze

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