holly

noun hol·ly \ ˈhä-lē \

Definition of holly

plural hollies
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 : 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

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

noun hol·ly \ ˈhä-lē \

Definition of holly for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

holly

medical Definition of holly

— see sea holly


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