hack·​ber·​ry ˈhak-ˌber-ē How to pronounce hackberry (audio)
: any of a genus (Celtis) of trees and shrubs of the elm family with small often edible berries
also : its wood

Examples of hackberry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Flannel moths have been known to feed on many trees and shrubs, like elms, maples, hackberries, hollies, oaks, and sycamores, according to the NC State Extension. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 18 Aug. 2023 Mostly open to the sun, the trails pass among mesquite patches, desert hackberry shrubs and sections where runoff from the canal dike fosters lush greenery that attracts wildlife. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 31 Mar. 2023 Other good plants include Jacob’s ladder, wild strawberry, wild geranium, chokecherry, prairie phlox, golden Alexander, New Jersey tea, cherry trees, dogwoods, blueberry, elderberry, willow and hackberry trees. Jennifer Rude Klett, Journal Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2023 Mulberry has a lot in common with hackberry. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 5 Nov. 2021 Lined with wolfberry shrubs and paloverde, mesquite and hackberry trees, the wash meanders in a northeast arch on the preserve’s far northwest edge. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 2 Mar. 2023 Surrounded by acres of scrub, cactus and spotty stands of junipers, Little Hackberry Wash feeds a slender green corridor of lush mesquite, hackberry and desert willows, many entwined in morning glory and scarlet creeper vines. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 15 Sep. 2022 As the hills close in on the road, desert hackberry trees, although present as midsize shrubs earlier in the hike, suddenly appear as robust trees. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 15 Sep. 2022 The tree canopy at Minshall Alar Preserve includes hackberry, red maple and basswood, among many others. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 27 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


alteration of hagberry a cherry resembling the chokecherry

First Known Use

1779, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hackberry was in 1779

Dictionary Entries Near hackberry

Cite this Entry

“Hackberry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hackberry. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hack·​ber·​ry ˈhak-ˌber-ē How to pronounce hackberry (audio)
: any of a genus of trees and shrubs that are related to the elms and have small often edible berries
: the wood of a hackberry

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