ma·​ho·​nia mə-ˈhō-nē-ə How to pronounce mahonia (audio)
: any of a genus (Mahonia) of American and Asian shrubs (such as the Oregon grape) of the barberry family

Examples of mahonia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Best ways to use leatherleaf mahonias This is not an ordinary shrub. Neil Sperry, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12 Apr. 2024 This is a great weekend to plant leatherleaf mahonias. Neil Sperry, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12 Apr. 2024 For shrubs, consider yew, mahonia, boxwood, and gardenias. Patricia Shannon, Southern Living, 22 Mar. 2024 This antimicrobial herb can help mild-to-moderate psoriasis when applied to the skin, says the NPF, which suggests using a cream with 10% mahonia. Cathy Cassata,, 12 Nov. 2021 The plants that seem to be showing the most damage in central Arkansas are: loropetalum, gardenia, abelia, wax leaf Ligustrum, pineapple guava, confederate jasmine, palms, Soft Caress mahonia, and Distylium. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 1 Mar. 2021 My abelia, Soft Caress mahonia and pineapple guava all have burned leaves. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 22 Feb. 2021 For folks who aren’t familiar with them, leatherleaf mahonias are cousins of nandinas. Neil Sperry,, 9 Apr. 2020 The name Soft Caress tells you this is not your typical mahonia. Norman Winter, idahostatesman, 31 Jan. 2018

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

Word History


New Latin, from Bernard McMahon †1816 American botanist

First Known Use

1818, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mahonia was in 1818

Dictionary Entries Near mahonia

Cite this Entry

“Mahonia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


ma·​ho·​nia mə-ˈhō-nē-ə How to pronounce mahonia (audio)
capitalized : a genus of North American and Asian shrubs (family Berberidaceae) that have unarmed branches and pinnate leaves and are sometimes included in the genus Berberis
: any shrub of the genus Mahonia
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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