Definition of barberry in English:


nounplural noun barberries

  • A thorny shrub that bears yellow flowers and red or blue-black berries.

    Genus Berberis, family Berberidaceae: many species, including the American barberry (B. canadensis), with widely toothed leaves, and the European barberry (B. vulgaris), with more closely toothed leaves

    ‘They are also attracted by the berries on the holly and some of the dogwoods and barberries around the yard, as well as the flowers with seedpods that I left for them in the main garden.’
    • ‘Swirling robins and starlings competed for the red berries of the barberry and the blue berries of the privet.’
    • ‘The barberry bushes have bright red little berries for all the world like Redhot candies.’
    • ‘Although the California fan palm is the major attraction, another rarity is the Kofa barberry, a three-foot-tall shrub known only from the Kofa Mountains and from the Ajo Mountains, farther south.’
    • ‘Others feature one or several of tomatoes, garlic, barberries, grapes, pomegranates, and yoghurt.’
    • ‘Dwarf barberry has reddish-purple foliage in sun.’
    • ‘Grow thorny plants like agave, barberry, cactus, Natal plum, and yucca under rear windows.’
    • ‘When plants such as barberry, grapevine, ornamental grasses, and smoke bush are in their full glory, they create a garden's final drama of the year.’
    • ‘Rugged shrubs like barberry and potentilla give the garden permanent structure, while the rocks help protect the plants from searing winds and keep the soil from drying out.’
    • ‘Using a relatively simple method to fight a potentially deadly problem, Union Pacific will plant hundreds of prickly rose bushes and barberries along its North Line this week to prevent trespassers from crossing its tracks.’
    • ‘I substitute dried cherries or cranberries for barberries.’
    • ‘Plants such as privet or barberry need severe pruning immediately after planting and at the beginning of the second year to make them bushy.’
    • ‘And then there are the usual green plants with red berries such as hollies and barberry, and old garden roses with showy hips.’
    • ‘At three o'clock Gates served dinner: onion soup followed by breast of veal delicately flavoured with nutmeg and garnished with barberries and slices of lemon.’
    • ‘Branches of viburnum, holly, and barberry offer architectural grace notes and still other means for signaling the season.’
    • ‘They had us taste one of the delicious syrups they made and bottled last summer, and Susanne brought out a jar of her Aprikose Berberitze jam, made with apricot and barberries.’
    • ‘We cut through the Japanese barberry with clippers to get to a wet area.’
    • ‘As Graham stood on the top of the wooden step ladders, trimming away at the box, and the barberry that tangled into it, he glanced down at the cat.’
    • ‘Along the lakefront a curving sweep of barberry and daylilies terminated at gazebos overarched by old apple and willow trees.’
    • ‘Evans sees tree of heaven and Japanese barberry, garlic mustard and stilt grass invading the heart of the forest.’



/ˈbärˌberē/ /ˈbɑrˌbɛri/


Late Middle English from Old French berberis (see berberis). The change in the ending was due to association with berry.