holly

play
noun hol·ly \ˈhä-lē\

Definition of holly

plural

hollies

  1. 1 :  any of a genus (Ilex of the family Aquifoliaceae, the holly family) of trees and shrubs; especially :  either of two (I. opaca of the eastern U.S. and I. aquifolium of Eurasia) with spiny-margined evergreen leaves and usually red berries often used for Christmas decorations

  2. 2 :  the foliage or branches of the holly

Recent Examples of holly from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of holly

Middle English holin, holly, from Old English holen; akin to Old High German hulis holly, Middle Irish cuilenn


HOLLY Defined for English Language Learners

holly

play
noun

Definition of holly for English Language Learners

  • : a tree or bush with dark green leaves and bright red berries; also : the branches of this plant which are used for decoration especially at Christmas


HOLLY Defined for Kids

holly

play
noun hol·ly \ˈhä-lē\

Definition of holly for Students

plural

hollies

  1. :  an evergreen tree or shrub that has shiny leaves with prickly edges and red berries


Medical Dictionary

holly

hol·ly

Medical Definition of holly

  1. —see sea holly



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up holly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to plunder or ravage

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!