mulberry

noun mul·ber·ry \ ˈməl-ˌber-ē , -b(ə-)rē \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of mulberry

1 : any of a genus (Morus of the family Moraceae, the mulberry family) of trees with an edible usually purple multiple fruit that is an aggregate of juicy one-seeded drupes; also : the fruit
2 : a dark purple or purplish black

Recent Examples of mulberry from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of mulberry

Middle English mulbere, mulbery, probably dissimilated from Old English *mūrberie, variant of mōrberie (with mūr- as in mūrbēam "mulberry tree"), from mūr- (borrowed from Medieval Latin mūrum, variant of Latin mōrum "black mulberry, blackberry," probably of Mediterranean substratal origin, as also Greek móron "black mulberry, blackberry," Armenian mor "blackberry") + berie 1berry
Note: The presumed dissimilated form represented by Middle English mulbere is paralleled by Middle Low German mūlbēre "mulberry" (next to mūrbēre), Old Saxon mūlbōm "mulberry tree" (in a gloss, next to mōrbōm), late Old High German mūlboum, mūlbere (in glosses, next to mūrberi, mōrberi, mūrboum). The assumption has been made that the Middle English word was borrowed from Middle Low German, though it seems more likely that dissimilated forms were passed northward through the West Germanic speech area—or developed independently—as the word diffused along with cultivation of the berry in the Carolingian period; cultivation of mulberries is mentioned in the late-8th-century Capitulare de villis dealing with the upkeep of Charlemagne's estates.


MULBERRY Defined for English Language Learners

mulberry

Definition of mulberry for English Language Learners

  • : a type of tree that has purple berries that can be eaten

  • : a berry from a mulberry tree


MULBERRY Defined for Kids

mulberry

noun mul·ber·ry \ ˈməl-ˌber-ē \

Definition of mulberry for Students

plural mulberries
: a tree that has small edible usually purple fruit and leaves on which silkworms can be fed

Medical Dictionary

mulberry

noun mul·ber·ry \ ˈməl-ˌber-ē, -b(ə-)rē \

medical Definition of mulberry

plural mulberries
: any of a genus (Morus of the family Moraceae, the mulberry family) of trees with an edible usually purple fruit that includes one (M. nigra) with a fruit whose juice is sometimes used for its medicinal properties; also : the fruit


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mulberry? 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

a figure representing a hated person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a-closeup-of-a-sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!